New electronic prescription service (EPS) software has been accredited by NHS England that promises to increase efficiency in dispensing practices.
The software, called Titan PMR, now joins EMIS’s ProScript as the available, accredited EPS products for dispensing doctors.
Tariq Muhammad, CEO of Invatech Health, which developed Titan PMR, said: ‘What this accreditation means is that surgeries can deliver a more efficient and safer service to their patients, with doctors able to spend less time pushing paper and more time speaking to people and helping with their problems.
‘All this builds patient loyalty and stops the loss of dispensing income that makes these rural surgeries sustainable.’
Laura Wright, practice manager at Stoneleigh Surgery in Milnthorpe, Cumbria, which has piloted the Titan EPS system since November and has multiple branches, said it had made ‘such a difference’ to their workload.
The software has saved around 30 minutes of GP time per day, she added.
Ms Wright explained that while her practice had previously used an EPS system it was only able to send prescriptions electronically to a local pharmacy and couldn’t nominate itself as a dispensary. To dispense from the surgery itself still required a signed paper prescription, limiting efficiency.
‘It posed an issue when we had a prescriber who did an acute prescription for a dispensing patient at one of our other sites. Physically getting that prescription to us was impossible,’ said Ms Wright.
‘Now, we can nominate ourselves and the electronic script can come through from a different site from a doctor who is triaging on the phone. The patient can then have their medicine within five to 10 minutes.’
Meanwhile, the Dispensing Doctors’ Association (DDA) has called for NHS England to fund EPS software for dispensing practices as it is ‘vital NHS GP IT’.
Matthew Isom, CEO of the DDA, said it ‘welcomed the opportunity for the patient and operational benefits that the EPS offers.’
However, he added: ‘We remain focused on gaining NHS funding for any system implementation in dispensing GP practices as our position is that this constitutes vital NHS GP IT.’
There are over 1,000 dispensing practices in England, with around 7% of prescriptions in the country dispensed by doctors in circumstances where patients live too far from a community pharmacy.