The Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) allows GPs and nurses to prescribe items electronically to a dispenser, such as a pharmacy, of their choice.
Why was EPS introduced?
Electronic Prescription Service (also known as EPS) was introduced by the National Health Service (NHS) to deliver a more cost-effective solution to give patients their medication.
With repeat prescriptions proving a major contributor in rising prescribing costs, EPS is designed to remove the need for paper to consistently transfer between surgeries and pharmacies.
Surgeries across the country are currently setting up EPS, with Cliff House Medical Practice in Lincoln and 20 Luton GP practises all starting to use EPS in October 2014.
The system was first executed in 2007, which saw EPS Release 1 start up. EPS Release 2 is the second, and most recent phase of the electronic prescription service.
How do I get my prescription changed to EPS
If you collect repeat prescriptions from your GP, EPS allows your GP to send the prescription electronically to a pharmacy nominated by you.
If your surgery has started using EPS, the first thing to do is book an appointment with your doctor to discuss your requirements. Your GP will then advise you on the next steps, including:
- Providing you with information on which dispensers near you use EPS and store your medication
- How you can nominate a dispenser that is most convenient for you to collect medication from
- How EPS works and how you can order medication without needing to continually return to your GP for repeat prescriptions
Once you have signed up to EPS, you can also change your nomination or cancel your service later on by speaking to either a dispenser that offers EPS or your GP.
Benefits of EPS to diabetes patients
People with diabetes are starting to be presented with tremendous flexibility as to how they wish to receive their medication.
The information provided by GPs to patients reduces time spent travelling to distant pharmacies, while waiting times will be reduced as pharmacies can prepare your prescriptions before you arrive.
There would also be an end to potentially losing paper prescriptions, while the most exciting aspect of EPS is that clinicians can analyse data to assess how effective treatments are used across the country.
Patients with diabetes will therefore be assisting in providing information as to how their diabetes is controlled, in which prospective advances towards curing the disease could be made.
Safety & security
EPS is completely safe, with your EPS only seen by the same people that would see your paper prescription, including GP surgery administrators, pharmacies and NHS prescription payment and fraud agencies.
EPS also ensures that any doubts over what is written on paper prescriptions will be eradicated as the necessary medication will be clearly displayed on screen for each prescription.
EPS will eventually be rolled out throughout all GP surgeries and pharmacies across England.