Electronic prescriptions, also known as eScripts, ePrescriptions and eRx are now used in some circumstances by GPs working from our rooms.
Our practice, including our GPs who are all independent doctors, is committed to providing you with safe and comprehensive care. As part of this commitment, we continue to implement new technologies once we are confident they are secure and will add value to our service.
eScripts are digital versions of paper prescriptions. Your doctor will send them to you via SMS or email. They can be printed if necessary.
There are many benefits to eScripts. They include:
- Faster and easier for you, particularly when used in conjunction with Telehealth services
- You no longer have to keep track of paper scripts
- Reduced errors and administrative burden for pharmacies, as they do not need to manually enter script information
- Reduced administrative burden for doctors and reception, because we no longer need to fax and post scripts
- Assists in promoting physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Will integrate with future technologies in the health sector that promote patient safety and continuity of care
What does an eScript look like?
The SMS/email will contain some basic information and a hyperlink:
When you click the hyperlink you will see a QR Code. This is your eScript Token that you will provide to the pharmacy.
You will receive one SMS/email/Token for each medication you are prescribed.
No special apps or software are required to view an eScript Token! You should even be able to view Tokens on a basic mobile phone (one without smartphone capabilities).
REMEMBER: eScript SMS’s, emails and Tokens should be treated as valid, legal prescriptions. Make sure you:
- keep them secure
- only forward them if you are unable to attend/forward to the pharmacy yourself
- only forward them to people you trust and if necessary to assist you in getting your medication
- take care not to lose them
Additional Frequently Asked Questions
How do I provide the eScript Token to a pharmacy?
If your eScript Token is on a mobile device, simply show your device to the pharmacist for them to scan.
Some pharmacies allow you to forward your SMS/email to them. This may be helpful for people who are isolating or usually have their medicines delivered. It may also save you time waiting at the pharmacy.
Each pharmacy is different, so please ask your pharmacist what options they have.
How do I get my repeat prescriptions? And what if I lose it?
If your eScript has repeats on it, your pharmacist will send you a new SMS/email when they give you your medicine. Your pharmacy should be able to print your eScript repeat if you prefer, however it will be the Token that is printed and it will not look like a traditional paper prescription. Ask your pharmacy for more information.
If you lose your eScript repeat, please contact the pharmacy who provided it and ask them to resend it to you.
Are eScripts secure?
eScripts are fully encrypted end-to-end using international standard security tools and are kept in a secure prescription exchange service. The exchange service we use is eRx Script Exchange, who are Australia’s first and largest prescription exchange service. eRx has passed an independent Security Assessment and Privacy Impact Assessment, which means they are accredited under the Australian Government National eAuthentication Framework around security and ensuring they meet all obligations under the Privacy Act 1988.
Your eScript Token is what allows your pharmacy to access and decrypt your eScript. The Token is useless and unable to be read by anyone without the pharmacy eScript software. Only your doctor and pharmacist can see your information, the same as when using a traditional paper script.
For privacy reasons, no personal identifiable information is sent in the eScript SMS/email.
Who is eligible to receive eScripts?
eScripts are available to anyone with a Medicare or DVA card.
Certain overseas visitors are also eligible to receive eScripts, however to enable this you will need to provide us with your Individual Health Identifier (IHI) number. Please contact Medicare to request your IHI number if you do not know it.
Can my eScript be sent to a different number/email address than what is listed in my chart?
Yes, please advise your doctor at the time of sending.
Can my eScript be sent to someone else?
Yes. At your request, your doctor can SMS/email your eScript to a trusted guardian or carer. Please advise your doctor at the time of sending.
Can my eScript be sent directly to the pharmacy?
No, we cannot send eScripts directly to your pharmacy. This is to ensure that all patients maintain autonomy over which pharmacy they choose to visit.
Can I have a traditional paper script as well? Or can I change my eScript to a paper script?
A script can only be in either eScript format or traditional paper script format, not both. However, you or your doctor can print a copy of your eScript Token if necessary.
If you decide you would like your script changed to a different format, your doctor can do this, however it requires them to cancel the first script and re-prescribe the medication. This is not in line with best practice standards and should only be done if really necessary.
What if I lose my eScript – can it be resent?
Please keep track of all your eScripts in a safe place. In the instance you do lose an eScript, your doctor can resend it to you, however it takes a similar amount of time as resending a traditional paper script. We cannot guarantee this will be done quickly, as it depends on your doctor’s availability, workload, other commitments and priorities.
TIPS to keep track of your eScripts:
- SMS – If the eScript SMS comes from an unknown number, save this number as a contact called ‘eScripts’. On a smartphone you should be able to search for all SMS messages from this sender.
- Email – Create a folder to keep all your eScripts together
Can all medications be prescribed using eScript?
Yes. There are currently no restrictions as to which medicines can be prescribed as an eScript.
What if my pharmacy is not eScript enabled?
If your pharmacy is not set up to use eScripts, you can take your eScript to a different pharmacy, or continue to request traditional paper scripts.
If you are not sure about your pharmacy’s status, please check with them before you get your script. You may find information on their website too.
Can I use the same eScript token more than once?
No. eScripts are in a centralised database and become locked as soon as the pharmacist scans your Token. Once your medication is dispensed, the Token is deactivated.
This prevents eScripts from being filled simultaneously at multiple locations, or more than once from the same Token. This is also why you will receive a new Token from your pharmacy for any repeats.
Do eScripts expire?
Yes, eScript have an expiry date the same as normal printed scripts (usually 1 year).
Technology coming soon – Active Script List (ASL)
The Australian Digital Health Agency is currently developing Active Script List (ASL), which will be an online consolidation of all your active scripts. ASL will require you to register, and only doctors and pharmacists you provide permission to will be able to access your list.
Your doctor will be able to upload a script to your Active Script List, instead of providing an eScript or traditional paper script. Once the script is uploaded, any pharmacy (with your express permission) can access the script and dispense.
The ASL will provide further convenience in getting your medicines, and help you manage all your scripts. It should be especially helpful for people who take multiple medicines.
We will provide more information on the ASL when it becomes available.