Keeping the community connected through digital health is a priority for health care professionals in the region of Hedland in the North West of Western Australia. During October, Pharmacy 777 Port Hedland, using Corum Health’s LOTS Dispense software, not only dispensed the first electronic prescription in the region but has been working closely with WA Primary Health Alliance to support medical centres in readiness for ePrescribing.
"Pharmacy 777 Port Hedland has been working closely with the Hedland Communities of Excellence program since late 2019. We helped roll out the My Health Record system in Port Hedland and we’re now very excited to bring our town into the digital health future to be among the first pharmacies in Western Australia to process an ePrescription," explains Lee Ross, Pharmacist at Pharmacy 777 Port Hedland.
“Our first eScript was prescribed to the patient via a Telehealth consultation with a Perth based medical centre and dispensed using our LOTS dispense software so really shows the full scope of the digital health service providing further medical support to our community.”
“The use of ePrescriptions will change the way we can support our patients with alternative options for fulfilling prescriptions. In a transient town like Port Hedland, we have many travellers and FIFO workers that are away from home. Being able to access their prescriptions when and where they need will be a change for the better. In reducing the amount of back and forth between patients’ home pharmacies and GP clinics, the process will be so much more streamlined.”
Hedland in Western Australia is one of three regions selected in the Australian Digital Health Agency’s (ADHA) Communities of Excellence initiative. The initiative is part of the digitally enhanced models of care priority in Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy. Due to their population size, strong local clinical and digital leadership as well as community support - Hedland, together with the central Queensland town of Emerald and East Arnhem in the Northern Territory, are ideal locations for this initiative.
“It’s exciting to see the advancements unfold in health care and pharmacy digital health capabilities, especially for regional area health care networks,” said Kim Brotherson, Pharmacy 777 Managing Director.
“The Pilbara’s working travellers including shipping and FIFO workers, may not have contact with their regular GP. Health technology such as Telehealth, My Health Record and electronic prescriptions now allow these patients to have the ability to receive remote access to care. Providing wider accessibility to care for patients, certainly means improved health outcomes for the community.”
Corum Health has been partnering with pharmacies as a trusted vendor for over 30 years and was honoured to Chair and participate in a software industry taskforce working with the ADHA, governments, community health peak bodies and consumer groups, to make ePrescribing a reality.
“In a digitally capable world, a piece of paper should not determine the quality of your health care, nor dictate where or how you receive it,” said Julian Sallabank, Managing Director of Corum Group. “We have been very pleased with how all stakeholders have worked together to achieve this significant milestone, and today in Hedland, it is terrific to see the results of our hard work positively impact the workflow efficiencies of pharmacists and the lives of their patients.”
Bettina McMahon, Interim CEO of the ADHA said, “This is an important milestone in our vision of a future where consumers have the choice of an electronic prescription sent to their phone that they may take to any pharmacy for dispense. This initial step will help us learn about the experience of GPs, pharmacists and consumers using electronic prescriptions, and will help us make electronic prescriptions available to all Australians in the future.
Eprescribing is a key component of the larger suite of digital health initiatives that can break down barriers to quality healthcare for all, regardless of where they live or whether they are receiving health services face to face or via telehealth. We are delighted to see this capability in action today and congratulate those involved in bringing it to the Hedland community.”
Published also in The North West Telegraph and AJP.