Electronic prescribing refers to prescriptions that are issued and dispensed in an electronic system, without the use of a paper based document at any point.
The Medicines and Poisons Regulations 2016 allow for this type of system to be used so long as it offers sufficient prescription security and has been approved by the Department of Health.
Electronic prescribing systems must:
- comply with criteria in Regulation 20 of the Medicine and Poisons Regulations 2016
- have robust procedures for access and use
- prevent unauthorised access to the system
- protect all personal information contained within the system.
The system must only permit:
- authorised persons to access and use the system;
- an authorised prescriber to issue a prescription; and
- a pharmacist to dispense medicine.
The system must be able to:
- generate specific reports or system records, as needed
- prevent entries from being erased or amended
- safely backup and protect data
- assign an individual as a system administrator.
Applying for approval
Any health practitioner, hospital or software developer wishing to use an electronic prescribing system in Western Australia must apply in writing to the Department of Health, providing details of the system and its intended use. Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the Medicines and Poisons Regulation Branch for more information, prior to making a submission.
The Department will assess each system on a case by case basis and work individually with the applicant as part of the approval process. Applicants will be expected to provide a demonstration of the working system. Additional information required may include technical and security information, access procedures and reporting capabilities. The Department may require assessment of the system against relevant industry or quality standards. Any approval may be subject to conditions and limitations.