Set up Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions (ETP) in your Organisation

Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions (ETP) describes the safe and secure transfer of prescription information between a Prescriber (doctor, specialist, dentist, optometrist, nurse practitioner, and so on) and a Community Pharmacy using an electronic system known as a Prescription Exchange Service (PES).

There are currently two PES systems operating in Australia – eRx Script Exchange and MediSecure. Each PES has been approved by the Commonwealth and is required to meet specified standards relating to security and privacy. A pharmacy or medical practice may be connected to one or both PES systems.

Step 1To enable Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions a General Practice or Community Pharmacy must register with a PES. Details of how to register with the two PES providers operating in Australia are available on their websites – eRX Script Exchange and MediSecure.

Step 2To register your organisation must have clinical software that is capable of sending ePrescriptions. Your clinical software may dictate which PES you register with as not all systems are integrated with both the PESs. Information about PES compliant software products for General Practice can be found at the Digital Health Product Register for Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions, or alternatively contact your software vendor.

Step 3The two approved PES vendors have entered in to arrangements with existing clinical software providers to integrate the software required for the ePrescription service within existing clinical software. This means the PES sits behind your current workflow as a clinician, and it is therefore unlikely that additional software will be required to use ePrescriptions. This applies to clinical software systems such as: Medical Director, Best Practice, Zedmed, Genie and many others.

Step 4You do, however, need to ensure that your security and authentication keys are properly installed and operating so your ePrescription is securely encrypted before it leaves your clinical software and your organisation is identified as the sender.

Step 5Every software system is different. You should therefore follow the guidelines and prompts in your clinical software to activate the PES and request assistance from your clinical software vendor if necessary. You could also contact the PES vendor for assistance in setting up and testing the installation of the software.

Each ETP service provider has their own existing consent protocols. Please contact your ETP service provider for further information.

Using ePrescriptions is an important pre-requisite for sending prescription and dispense information to the My Health Record system (see eMedications Management for more information on how this works).

However, for this to be possible you must also have:

Step 1 Registered for the My Health Record system including all pre-requisites.

Step 2 Set-up the My Health Record system in your organisation.

Step 3 Be using a clinical software that has the functionality to produce and send prescription or dispense records to the My Health Record system (this is on top of the functionality to send to the PES).

More information