This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Increase in use of electronic prescriptions during COVID-19 pandemic

Written by: | Published:

85% of medication was prescribed electronically 85% of medication was prescribed electronically

More than 85% of primary care prescriptions in England are now processed electronically, after a rise in use of the service during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to statistics from NHS Digital, 86% of prescriptions dispensed within primary care in England were processed using the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS). That is an increase of more than 10% since February, when the usage was 73%. In April 2019, usage was 68%.

During April this year, use of EPS was expanded into GP Access/virtual hubs, walk-in centres and out of hours settings. This expansion and focus on increasing the use of EPS in urgent care has contributed to increase in prescriptions processed using this system.

‘Sending prescriptions electronically not only increases efficiency and saves the NHS money, it also helps patients and staff practice social distancing by reducing contacts,’ said Sam Robinson, Associate Director of Live Services at NHS Digital.

Latest figures show that 54% of GP practices are now using Phase 4 of EPS, which allows the service to be used for patients without a nominated pharmacy and prescriptions to be downloaded using the unique prescription ID. Roll-out of EPS Phase 4 began last November.

GPs have also been encouraged to transfer patients to electronic repeat dispensing. This means that for patients with regular medication, a batch of prescriptions can be issued which will be available, at set intervals, to the patient’s nominated pharmacy. Medication can therefore be prepared in advance by the pharmacy, without patients having to request it from their practice each time. Before dispensing the medication, the pharmacist will confirm it is still safe, appropriate for the patient and that they still require a supply, and answer any questions they may have.

‘We are proud that EPS is supporting clinicians and prescribers to care for patients during this challenging time,’ added Mr Robinson.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Comments

Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
 

Most read articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Practice Nursing Journal latest issue and most read articles.

Click here to read a selection of free to access articles from Practice Nursing Journal

Newsletter

Sign up to the newsletter

About

Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.

Archive

Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team

Authors

Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.