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Prescription for an electronic revolution?
Date:12/17/2007

coded prescription form is swiped under an electronic reader and the medicine handed over.

Apart from the savings on the number of journeys patients have to make to get their prescription, the new system should also cut down on the number of errors that can occur when details are copied across from one form to another. It should also speed up payment for the GP, by transferring payment requests electronically to the Prescription Pricing Authority in Newcastle. Currently these requests are sent in hard copy, by post.

Tony Avery, Professor of Primary Care in The University of Nottinghams Medical School, said: The current system does work. But if you look at it in detail, the inevitable conclusion is that there must be a better way, a more efficient way, of issuing repeat prescriptions.

The new system could radically alter the way in which we handle repeat prescriptions for patients on long-term medication.

In many cases, patients who are on long-term medication dont need to be routinely seen when their prescription is re-issued. These patients many of whom are elderly would benefit considerably from a system which makes it easier for them to get the medicines they need.

There is also a major impact on GP practices in terms of reducing the paper workload and making things more efficient.

The study will build on Professor Averys work in the field of patient safety, and will incorporate a large-scale before-and-after study to determine whether the new system results in a reduction in dispensing errors.

Professor Avery will be working alongside colleagues at The University of Nottingham including Dr Sarah Armstrong in Nottingham University Medical School, Professor Rachel Elliott in the School of Pharmacy and Dr Justin Waring in the School of Sociology.

On average there are 14 prescriptions dispensed per year to each person in the UK. But this is heavily weighted towards pensioners with over-65s re
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Contact: Tony Avery
anthony.avery@nottingham.ac.uk
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

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