As of the 1st of April 2020, Global Health’s PrimaryClinic platform for GPs and Specialists now supports the Victorian Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Regulations 2017 making use of “SafeScript” prior to prescribing or dispensing a monitored medication.
Victoria is the first state to adopt the real-time prescription monitoring system, and the new initiative will mean GPs and other prescribers, such as pharmacists will be mandated to view patients’ prescription history in SafeScript prior to dispensing a prescription for medicines monitored through the system.
The requirement to check SafeScript will apply to both paper based and electronic prescriptions, and both medical practitioners and pharmacists will be required to have registered for SafeScript prior to April 2020. This will grant them the access they need to the SafeScript system and ensure they are compliant with legislation. Visit www.safescript.vic.gov.au for registration details.
SafeScript provides prescribers real-time access to patients’ prescription history. When a practitioner issues an electronic script it is transmitted to MediSecure, a centralised database accessible by doctors, nurse practitioners and pharmacists in real-time and to the federal government’s Prescription Exchange Service (PES), allowing the patient script to be checked in real-time against other currently prescribed medications within the Medicines monitored in SafeScript list. If there are any risks of harm or overdose associated with high risk medicines to the patient, the SafeScript information can alert the prescriber and dispenser assisting them with deciding whether to prescribe or dispense the high-risk medicine.
A notification is sent through to the SafeScript Notification App which will issue notifications:
Red alert – This pops up if there is evidence of multiple prescribes, or prescriptions for combinations of high-risk medicines, and when the dose of an opioid medicine is beyond normal range.
Amber alert – This will pop up to warn of prescriptions written by more than one prescriber or medical practice over the previous 12 months, or when a daily morphine equivalent dose estimated over the previous 90 days, is too high.
Green notification – This appears when there has been no prescriptions issued or dispensed for high risk medicines over the last 6 months, or when prescriptions for high risk medicines have been issued by the same prescriber or medical practice over the last 6 months and there are no alerts.
When a Green notification appears, the prescriber or dispenser is not required to click to review the patient’s history.
The monitored high-risk medicines in SafeScript include S8 medications, and selected S4 medications including benzodiazepines, z-drugs, quetiapine and all products containing codeine.
SafeScript is integrated with PrimayClinic for medical practitioners using prescribing software. Therefore, when a PrimaryClinic medical practitioner is prescribing a high-risk medicine for a patient, the above alerts or notification will pop up on their computer screen to notify the patient’s history of high-risk medicine use.