Four out of five GPs and community pharmacists are now enabled for the electronic transfer of prescriptions in Scotland, according to the ePharmacy Programme.

A recent update on progress with ETP says 80% of GPs and pharmacists can use ETP for acute prescriptions and an estimated 3.5m electronic prescriptions are being generated each month.

Scotland is rolling out ETP in two phases, with acute prescriptions delivered via the Acute Medication Service, which is now almost complete, and repeat prescriptions delivered via its Chronic Medication Service, which is due to go live in April 2009.

The ePharmacy Programme said it plans to spend the next few months working with NHS boards and community pharmacists to get them used to the AMS as initial testing begins for the CMS.

The CMS will mean patients with long term conditions will be able to register with a pharmacist and have their pharmaceutical care needs assessed.

Stage three of the CMS will enable GPs to produce a repeat prescription for 24 or 48 weeks to be dispensed an intervals specified by the GP under a shared care agreement with the pharmacist.

Each time a CMS prescription is dispensed, GPs will receive an electronic message and when the final installment of the prescription is dispensed the pharmacist will send the GP an electronic ‘end of care treatment summary’. GPs will also be able to cancel items electronically.

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