Electronic Prescriptions

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Quick Guides


What is an Electronic Prescription?

An electronic prescription is a prescription that is electronically generated and sent to a device of the patient's choice by either mobile phone or computer. The patient can then use the electronic prescription, in the same way they would use a paper prescription,  to get their medication from a pharmacy.

There are two models for electronic prescribing, the Token Model and the Active Script List Model. Only the token model will be available from the end of May 2020 with the Active Script Model expected to be available from the end of 2020.

Electronic Prescribing Token Model
Your patient will receive a unique QR barcode known as a ‘token’ sent via an app (if your patient has one), SMS or email.

The token will be scanned by your pharmacist as a key to unlock the electronic prescription from an encrypted and secure electronic prescription delivery service.

If you have any repeats of a prescription, a new token will be sent to you when the prescription is dispensed. You will need to keep the token to send to your pharmacy when you need to get the repeat filled.

For information on the Active Script List Model please refer to the Australian Digital Health Agency’s Electronic Prescribing page.


EPrescribing Resources

The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) have created a range of resources to support consumers and prescribers with the use of ePrescribing, including posters, handouts and fliers.  To request a set of these resources, please complete the request form here, and we will arrange for these to be delivered to your practice.  In addition, there are a range of assets for both pre and post switch on available to use on websites and social media which may be downloaded below. 

Click button to download resources

                                 EPrescribing Available Now                                                                                                 Get Ready for ePrescribing


Electronic Prescribing Checklist

Connected to the HI Service
Obtain a Healthcare Provider Identifier – Organisation (HPI-O) by connecting to the HI Service. You may have already got this if you are registered for the My Health Record.

To get a HPI-O please use the following manual My Health Record Registration Manual or contact the digital health support desk via;
NASH Certificate
A current National Authentication Service for Health (NASH) PKI certificate can be downloaded via PRODA. If you are currently accessing the My Health Record you have a current NASH PKI Certificate. It is important to note that NASH certificates need to be renewed ever 2 years.

Managing NASH Certificates

Latest version of conformant software
If your software is electronic prescribing conformant you will need to upgrade the software to the latest version. To upgrade your clinical software please contact your clinical software provider for guidance.

The electronic prescribing conformance register can be found here.

Connected to a Prescription Exchange Service
A Prescription Exchange Service (PES) securely transfers and stores prescription information electronically. To be set up for Electronic prescribing all general practices and pharmacies must have a PES installed. There are two PES available eRx and Medisecure.  To arrange for installation, please follow the below links;
  • eRx script exchange – Use the ‘Register NOW’ button on the top left of the page
  • Medisecure – Use the ‘Register Interest’ button on the top left of page

Other Requirements
  • Up to date contact details – As electronic prescriptions are sent to a patient’s email or via SMS, its important to ensure that you have these up to date in your clinical software. Its worth considering confirming these details in advance and/or ensuring processes are in place to update these details before sending an electronic prescription
  • Workflow – While electronic prescriptions do not require written consent, you may wish to consider how this effects your patients and put suitable provisions in place to ensure your patients are receiving prescription by a preferred method

Further Information 

For support and further information contact your Practice Support team member or ehealth@wapha.org.au to discuss.

Electronic Prescriptions FAQs

Can a patient have both a token and a legal paper script for the same item?

No, a prescription can only be one or the other for the entirety of the script including repeats.

What are the benefits of a token model to a patient?

The patient has less paper in processing a prescription and can more easily produce a token for dispensing. An example, a patient could forward their SMS token to their spouse to fill at a pharmacy while not home, without the spouse then needing to coming home to collect the paper script.

What are the benefits of token model to doctors?

There is no longer a need to have to print and sign hard copy prescriptions.

This also provides better care to patients at a distance, in the case example of a doctor being able to forward a prescription to their patient following a telehealth consultation.

What are the benefits of token model to pharmacists?

Pharmacists can receive prescriptions without the physical need to receive a paper prescription, and this may also assist to reduce the amount of outstanding patient prescriptions.

What is the difference between current Electronic Transfer of Prescription and Electronic Prescribing?

In the current model the legal prescription is the signed piece of paper and the electronic transfer is just a process to reduce transcription errors at pharmacy. The new electronic prescribing differs as the legal document is the data which sits in one of the Prescription Exchange Service 'PES' systems.


Is there an expiry on the token?

The token can only be used while the prescription is in date (12 months from the date the prescription was created).

Can a patient still get a paper prescription?

Yes, paper prescriptions are still available, the patient will need to choose which prescription option they would like to receive.

What happens if a patient loses their token?

The patient  will need to ask their doctor to cancel the electronic prescription and issue a new one. The patient will then receive a new token.

Does a patient on multiple medications need multiple tokens?

Yes, a patient with multiple medications will need multiple tokens,  with only one token being able to be issued per medication.

Do patients need to have a My Health Record to get electronic prescriptions?

A patient doesn’t need to have a My Health Record just an Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI). All individuals enrolled in Medicare or Department of Veterans Affairs are assigned an IHI.
Practice Assist acknowledges and pays respect to the Traditional Owners and Elders of this country and recognises the significant importance of their cultural heritage, values and beliefs and how these contribute to the positive health and wellbeing of the whole community.

While the Australian Government Department of Health has contributed to the funding of this website, the information on this website does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government and is not advice that is provided, or information that is endorsed, by the Australian Government. The Australian Government is not responsible in negligence or otherwise for any injury, loss or damage however arising from the use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.