MediSecure to launch DrShop service in next BP update

MediSecure will launch version three of its ScriptVault electronic prescription exchange service in the next update of Best Practice clinical software, which will also include its new DrShop real-time prescription monitoring system.

MediSecure has been trialling DrShop with Best Practice since last year and it will be fully integrated into BP's next update, which chief commercial officer Craig Hodges said will be available in the next couple of months. Integration with other GP software vendors is also under way.

Over 800 general practices have registered to use DrShop, which promises to be the first real-time prescription drug monitoring system available to GPs. It will allow doctors at the point of care to check if a patient has been prescribed Schedule 8 or Schedule 4 drugs in the previous 90 days, alerting them if the patient has been doctor shopping and potentially if there are any contraindications.

The move to roll out DrShop comes as frustration grows about the slow pace of the roll-out of the promised national Electronic Reporting and Recording of Controlled Drugs (ERRCD) system, currently only available in Tasmania.

Other states and territories are either working on their implementations or are still evaluating changes to legislation and reporting requirements. However, one of the drawbacks of ERRCD highlighted by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is that it is restricted to controlled or Schedule 8 drugs such as opioids.

A series of coroner's court inquiries in Victoria over the last decade has shown that Schedule 4 drugs, such as benzodiazepines, are just as much of a problem. In a recent inquiry into a 2011 case, it was found that a woman died from a cocktail of Schedule 4 anxiolytics, antidepressants, antipsychotics and pain killers in addition to an opioid.

MediSecure's chief of strategy and marketing, Vladimir Finn, told Pulse+IT recently that DrShop will not allow GPs to track all prescriptions for a patient or allow them to search for a patient. Instead, at the point of prescribing it will use an alert screen to inform the doctor that the patient has been prescribed addictive medicines by another doctor in the last three months.

The alert screen will display the suburb of the medical practice that previously prescribed the medicine but not the practice or the name of the prescribing doctor.

At the moment, it will only be able to alert users of MediSecure v3 to prescriptions written by other MediSecure v3 users. In the meantime, prescribers can use Medicare's Prescription Shopping Information Service (PSIS).

MediSecure says GPs must be enrolled individually to use the system but each GP can opt in or out within the practice if they wish. Practice managers can register all of the doctors who want to use the system through the DrShop website.

When the next update of Best Practice is available, the practice will need to book a time for MediSecure to install DrShop on each computer used for prescribing.

MediSecure v3 will also see the prescription barcode moved to the top right corner of the paper script.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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