Pharmacy error again to blame for incorrect scripts on My Health Record

A series of errors by a pharmacist has been blamed for incorrect data about six prescriptions appearing on one consumer's My Health Record last month.

The consumer contacted Pulse+IT after finding six scripts that were not prescribed for her in the Pharmaceutical Benefits report section of her My Health Record (MyHR, formerly PCEHR). The section receives an automatic feed of new dispensed prescriptions for that patient from the PBS.

In this case, six prescriptions for a combination antibiotic, a contraceptive pill, a different antibiotic, an asthma inhaler and an oral corticosteroid were incorrectly recorded as being dispensed to the consumer on three different days in 2014.

The consumer was advised by Pulse+IT to ring the PCEHR hotline to have the data removed from her record as soon as possible, but when she rang on a Sunday, was told to ring back on Monday as weekend staff did not have access to individual records. When she rang back on Monday evening, she was told to ring back during business hours.

Like Pulse+IT's own situation, the consumer was told it was likely an error at her regular pharmacy and that she herself would need to contact the pharmacist to find out how the data was added to her record. Unhappy with this, the consumer pressed for more information and was given a number to ring at the PBS. When she rang that number, she was referred back to the PCEHR helpline again.

She then rang the MyGov helpline, given the same number for the PBS and was transferred to another line, which turned out to the PCEHR helpline again, where she was put on hold.

Not impressed, the consumer contacted Pulse+IT again. We raised a bit of a stink with a Department of Health contact, who then arranged for someone at DHS to call the consumer personally, and she was soon contacted, given instructions on how to remove any incorrect documents from view, and told that the situation had been referred for investigation by Medicare.

She was then contacted by email and told that Medicare had investigated the six items in question and had spoken to the pharmacy.

“The pharmacy had submitted incorrect patient information resulting in the items appearing in your record,” a DHS representative wrote in the email. “This has now been corrected and the items have been removed from your record.

“It would be appreciated if you could please log on to your eHealth record and confirm these items are no longer appearing. On receipt of your confirmation we will consider the issue resolved.”

However, the consumer wanted some more answers on exactly why and how this had occurred, so was provided with the number of a person at the PBS – the same PBS that she had previously tried to call but had been passed back to the PCEHR helpline.

The PBS representative confirmed that it was a pharmacy error but could not say which pharmacist or pharmacy due to “privacy reasons”. It appears that another person with the same name as the consumer presented at the pharmacy and their script was put against the consumer's name in the pharmacy system, but that does not explain why it happened again four months later, as the scripts were not a repeat.

Finally defeated in trying to understand the intricacies of the PBS claiming system, the consumer now considers the situation resolved.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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