Pulse + IT – WhatsApp with eScripts
Written by Kate McDonald on .
Fred IT made the news this week with the launch of Australia’s first Active Script List (ASL), which Fred has dubbed My script list (MySL). The system has been tested in Tasmania over the past few months and is now available to Tassie pharmacies using Fred’s dispensing systems.
The other states and territories are expected to follow in the coming months, although the system is not yet fully operational for general practitioners, as providers of practice management software, who are constantly under the pump with requests for new features. and features, are still having a bit of work to do.
Pharmacists can enroll patients they think would benefit from a list of active scripts, which will allow them to see all of the active prescriptions the patient is on. The underlying platform is provided by the interoperable prescription exchange services, eRx, owned by Fred, and its competitor MediSecure, both of which have put aside the rivalry to form a joint venture to operate MySL.
Interoperability between the two electronic prescription transfer systems also forms the basis of the real-time prescription monitoring systems for addiction drugs that are currently being deployed across the country, including SafeScript in Victoria and, most recently, in South Australia. ScriptCheckSA.
ASLs are the next step for electronic prescriptions in the token system launched last year and will likely eventually overtake what is already aging technology. And the next taxi out of the row is Fred’s WhatsApp idea, who will use the popular messaging app to allow patients to request their scripts to be filled out from their regular pharmacist, also using MySL.
The COVID-19 pandemic has of course seen telehealth maturing around the world, and the Australian government has taken a keen interest in it. Health Minister Greg Hunt even recently picked a serious gong for his role in Australia’s pandemic response, receiving a political leadership award from the University of Melbourne in part because of its Medicare-funded telehealth reform leadership.
This week saw those Extended MBS elements until the end of the year, but it’s still unclear when they’ll be made permanent, which Mr Hunt continues to threaten to do. Meanwhile, article numbers for the phone consultations have been cut, indicating that the health ministry really wants doctors to use video rather than audio. The audio consultation elements for levels A and B – which represent the vast majority – have been kept, but C and D have been released. Doctors’ groups are mobilizing, but this is certainly nothing new.
Telehealth is also called upon to contribute to the disaster unfolding in India, where the latest wave of infections has seen cases reach 18 million amid a near collapse of the health system and a devastating lack of medical supplies. oxygen, ventilators and beds. The surge is so severe that the Indian National Institute for Disaster Management (NIDM) has appealed for clinicians, counselors and mental health experts of Indian descent to volunteer in a portal of teleconsultation for children and their families.
Auckland GP Sandhya Ramanathan is hoping to attend and plans to create a group of WhatsApp volunteers to help. Dr Ramanathan, born in India, raised in Australia and domiciled in New Zealand, first gained attention last year Youtube video on home care for COVID-19, which then went viral on the ever-popular WhatsApp. It has now been translated into 15 languages.
New Zealand journalist Fiona Cassie has done a great job covering Dr Ramanathan’s story regularly throughout the pandemic. You can read it all here. Take a look because this is a great thread.
That brings us to our poll question for the week:
Would you use WhatsApp to order a script reload?
Vote here and feel free to leave your comments below.
Last week we asked: Do you think digital health technologies will help health reforms in New Zealand? Most did: 82% said yes, 18% said no.