Guidance on EPS R2 released

  • 24 April 2009

NHS Connecting for Health has published detailed guidance on release two of the Electronic Prescription Service.

The 70 page document provides information on how each of the business processes involved in release two will work.

This includes nomination, electronic cancellation of prescriptions, use of prescription and dispensing tokens, electronic repeat dispensing and electronic submission of reimbursement claims.

The guidance applies to the 17 initial implementer sites for EPS release two, which have been authorised in NHS directions to issue electronic prescriptions. It points out that, at first, only prescriptions sent to a nominated pharmacist or dispenser can be signed and sent electronically.

The guidance explains how GPs and other prescribers will be able to apply electronic signatures to prescription messages, a potentially time-saving boon for practices, and when paper copies of electronic prescriptions, known as ‘tokens’, will need to be made available by the GP or pharmacist.

Where there is no paper document flow, the information traditionally included on the right-hand side of a paper prescription will be passed electronically from prescriber to dispenser.

In the initial implementation phase, it has been agreed that the pharmacist will then be responsible for passing on that information – which includes items such as review dates and medication-specific information – to the patient.

The guidance adds: “Dispensing staff will not be required, as part of the provision of EPS, to pass on non-clinical information linked to the services offered by another provider, for example practice hours or an advertisement for a flu clinic; however, they may provide this information in other ways, such as signposting.”

The guidance also covers electronic repeat dispensing which it says delivers improvements over the existing paper-based system as practices will no longer need to print multiple paper batch issues.

It also explains how patient nomination of a pharmacist or other dispenser will work and how patients can set or change their nomination at either their practice or pharmacy. It says that, in time, patients will be able to use HealthSpace to set their own nomination.

Other sections in the guidance cover cancelling an electronic prescription and electronic submission of reimbursement endorsements.

No GP or pharmacy system is yet compliant for release two of EPS, although some suppliers are predicting they will receive accreditation in the next month or two,  according to CfH’s website. TPP is expected to be the first GP system to receive accreditation.


Link: EPS release two: Business Process guidance for initial implementers

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