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First evaluation of electronic prescription service

9 July 2012

Pills

The first evaluation of a new system that can provide electronic transmission of prescriptions from GP practices to community pharmacies is published today in an interim report commissioned on behalf of NHS Connecting for Health Evaluation programme.

The Evaluation of the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) in Primary Care is is an evaluation of a system being introduced by the NHS and primary care computer system suppliers into all primary care community pharmacies and GP practices in England.

The system aims to allow electronic transmission of prescriptions from GP practices to community pharmacies, and also to enable community pharmacies to submit electronic claims for prescription items dispensed to patients to the remuneration agency, NHS Prescription Services.

The report covers the very early stages of the roll-out of the EPS programme. Researchers from the UCL School of Pharmacy, the University of Nottingham and LSE worked with seven pairs of community pharmacies and GP practices that were participating in the testing of the system, out of a population of around 10,000 community pharmacies and 8,000 GP practices.

The evaluation is due to finish at the end of 2012, with a final report in preparation for January, 2013.

Professor Nick Barber from UCL School of Pharmacy led the research and said:

“In these early stages of implementation there has been continued development and testing to produce functional systems. Now that wider roll out is happening it is likely that the adoption by GPs will be the rate limiting step. Given the current significant changes in primary care in England, the rate of adoption is likely to depend on GPs anticipating some form of local benefit if they adopt the system.”

The evaluation was commissioned on behalf of NHS Connecting for Health by the Connecting for Health Evaluation Programme (CfHEP), based at the University of Birmingham.


Links:

UCL School of Pharmacy
NHS Connecting for Health