GP practices in London are expected to save time, money and resources after switching to an electronic prescribing system.
Every GP practice in London – a total of 1,311 – has now successfully switched over to the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS), which is estimated to have saved the NHS £130 million over the last three years.
EPS enables GP practices to send patients’ prescriptions from the surgery to the pharmacist without the need for paper prescriptions.
The system helps GP practices save time and money by not having to find or re-print lost paper prescriptions or waiting for a GP to sign urgent paper prescriptions. It has also enabled the use of electronic repeat dispensing (eRD), which lets prescribers authorise prescriptions for regular medicines for up to one year with a digital signature.
For patients, EPS means they don’t have to keep returning to their GP practice to collect of request prescriptions. The time saved means that GP practice teams can spend more time on patients and pharmacists are able to better support patients and manage their medicines.
Farzana Hussain, a GP at The Project surgery in Plaistow, East London, said: “I’m a big fan of EPS. I like it for several reasons, but the number one reason is patient benefits.
“I can now send a prescription straight away to a pharmacist, meaning that patients don’t need to pick it up from the surgery, making it more convenient for them.
“As a doctor it also saves me time as I no longer have to print off prescriptions. I can send them with just one click. This also makes it easier for me to work remotely and send prescriptions when I’m not in the surgery.”
Jignesh Patel, a pharmacist at Rohpharm Pharmacy in Plaistow, said: “The Electronic Prescription Service has been fantastic in releasing us from carrying out a lot of paperwork and having to store a big paper audit trail as everything is now stored digitally.
“It is saving us a lot of time and, when GPs use electronic repeat dispensing, it can save themselves, patients and pharmacists even more time.”