Electronic Prescriptions

Western Victorian prescribers and dispensers are encouraged to familiarise themselves with electronic prescriptions which are now being implemented across Australia.

What is electronic prescribing

Electronic prescribing – or e-prescribing – provides clinicians and their patients with the option of using digital technology for electronic Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) prescriptions.

Electronic prescriptions are not mandatory and paper prescriptions are still available. In addition, patients can still choose which pharmacy they attend to fill out their prescription.

How it works

The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) describes electronic prescribing as:

“the process by which a prescription is electronically generated by a prescriber, securely transmitted to a prescription delivery service for dispensing and supply, downloaded by a supplier, integrated into the dispensing software and (where applicable) available to be electronically sent to Department of Human Services for PBS claiming purposes. An electronic prescription is an electronic clinical document that contains all information relating to an order to supply medicine to an individual and is a legally dispensable instruction.”

More on setting up electronic prescriptions is available from the ADHA website

Benefits of electronic prescriptions

Electronic prescriptions offer benefits to prescribers, dispensers and patients:

  • provides more choice for patients
  • makes prescribing and dispensing medicines more efficient
  • may reduce prescribing and dispensing errors
  • supports electronic medication charts in hospitals and residential aged care facilities
  • removes the need for handling and storing a physical paper prescription
  • supports digital health services such as telehealth services to ensure continuity of patient care
  • provides opportunity to protect community members and health care providers from exposure to infectious diseases (for example, COVID-19)
  • maintains patient privacy and integrity of personal information.

Training and resources

Western Victoria PHN (WVPHN) will provide support and webinar training for both general practices and pharmacies in coming months. More details will be released shortly.

An online toolkit of resources is also available. Please contact WVPHN via the details below to access the toolkit.

Other resources

More information

Contact Western Victoria PHN’s Digital Health Team:

Last modified: 17 November, 2020