Last year, 372 Victorians died from an overdose of prescription medicines, which is higher than the road toll for five years in a row. From 2008-2014 alone, there was an 87 percent increase in the number of prescription opioid deaths in Australia. These are devastating statistics and ones that technology can help change.
Currently, there is no way for health practitioners who prescribe and dispense addictive medications to know if their patient may be getting prescriptions for the same drugs from other doctors. This lack of visibility makes it difficult for practitioners to identify patients at risk of addiction, which means they might not be getting the support they need to prevent the damaging and often life threatening consequences of drug dependency.
Technology can help play a role here. Real time prescription monitoring, which provides an electronic view of what other controlled medications a patient might be accessing, is a strategic priority for the Victorian Government in its effort to reduce the real and growing harms from prescription medicine misuse.
Fred IT Group has been appointed by the Victorian Department of Human Services to deliver Australia’s first large-scale prescription monitoring system as part of its SafeScript initiative and we welcome this opportunity to play a role in this significant and important Victorian Government initiative that has real potential to save lives.
Through our partnership with Fred IT’s eRx Script Exchange and in conjunction with MediSecure, we will provide a vital clinical alerting tool and capability to enable doctors and pharmacists to identify and support patients with potential dependency issues with prescription medications.
By connecting the practitioners who prescribe and dispense medication with important and timely information about that person’s history relating to controlled drugs, doctors will be better informed to have conversations with their patients that could help mitigate potential misuse and hopefully, improve the statistics.
Fred IT Group is Australia’s largest provider of Pharmacy IT solutions servicing over 3,000 pharmacies. In 2009, Fred launched the ground breaking cloud based solution eRx Script Exchange, Australia’s first and largest national electronic prescriptions exchange. Fred IT is a partnership between Telstra Health, Fred IT and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.