“The future of healthcare is digital.” This is a phrase that we have to get used to because the more this world turns, the more we, as consumers, are conducting our business and leisure online. There are now over 100,000 smartphone applications designed to help us with our health, hospitals and GP surgeries are heavily reliant on digital innovations to treat patients, and pharmacies are following suit to keep up with this digital evolution. One of the first things that has happened, as many of you in Sheffield will be aware of, is that prescriptions are turning electronic.
In short, electronic prescriptions are paperless prescriptions. Instead of the GP surgery printing your prescription on the normal green FP10 form for it to be physically delivered, or for you to take to a pharmacy, it is uploaded electronically to the NHS Spine. After nominating a pharmacy you’d like to get your medication from, your electronic prescription will be assigned to the pharmacy where they will be able to download it and make up your medicine.
All pharmacies in Sheffield are now equipped with the software to download electronic prescriptions and most GP surgeries have opted to utilise the service. Nationally, 40% of all prescriptions are currently prescribed and dispensed electronically and the NHS aim to make the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) Phase 4 the primary way in which we receive prescriptions in the next few years. There will still be green prescriptions issues in some circumstances but the vast majority will be digital.
Your prescription turning electronic provides so many benefits to all parties involved in the process of prescribing, dispensing and picking up your prescriptions. Harnessing technology is allowing us to improve processes and reduce errors while saving time and money.
Electronic prescriptions mean that you don’t have to go to the surgery to collect your prescription. It will be sent to the pharmacy of your choice where you can pick it up or have it delivered to you. All in all, it will save you time, hassle and money.
Electronic prescriptions mean that pharmacies won’t have to send out a driver to pick up a prescription from the surgery. This is much more convenient and cost-effective for us. If there are any problems or delays when expecting a prescription, we can simply chase it up online or call the surgery where they’ll be able to send it over quicker.
Furthermore, going electronic means that pharmacies are much less liable to make mistakes when dispensing medicines. This means we’ll be keeping you safer.
And lastly, it means a more efficient and cost-effective practice at the GP surgery. Reducing the amount of paper waste, streamlining the prescribing process and again, reducing errors.
If you’re still receiving green prescriptions and would like to go digital, then you can contact your GP surgery and request to be transferred over to electronic prescriptions, provided that they have the service in place. Once you have done this, you’ll be given the option to nominate a pharmacy of your choice for where you’d like the prescription to be sent to. You can change the nomination of your pharmacy at any time you wish.
You can also set your nominated pharmacy at the pharmacy themselves without the need to get in touch with the surgery. This will require you signing a nomination form at the pharmacy or sending one in via email.
If you’re a patient at one of our Green Cross Chemists, you’ll be able to reorder your medicines directly from this site itself which is going to save you even more time. So watch this space because this is in the pipeline!