State Government Victoria Australia Department of Health header
State Government Victoria
Victorian Government Health Information
Health Home
Main A to Z Index | Site Map | About Health  

December 2012

Nurse with electronic device jpeg
Rosebud Hospital day-surgery nurse Leigh-Anne Stokan uses Peninsula Health’s e-prescribing service.

Peninsula Health pilots electronic prescriptions

Fewer errors, better access to information and enhanced patient safety – that’s the prescription being filled by a new clinical information system at Peninsula Health.

E-prescribing, which uses electronic systems to fill prescriptions for patients, is now being implemented across the service.

In a joint project, Peninsula Health and Austin Health join a very small group of health services in Australia to pilot e-prescribing.

The two Victorian health services are the first in Australia to implement the National E-Health Transition Authority’s (NeHTA) Australian Medicines Terminology (AMT) in a hospital setting, however.

AMT is a standards-based national approach to the identification and naming of medicines in clinical systems for Australia.

Among other benefits, it reduces errors by improving the precise recording and transcribing of medicines through the use of clear, standard and unambiguous naming.

It enables the safe exchange of medicine information across different settings.

Electronic clinical information management and e-prescribing enhances patient care by allowing medical staff and authorised nurses to prescribe drugs.

They can also order radiology and pathology tests and review patient’s results and histories through a state of the art computer program, currently used at both Frankston and Rosebud Hospitals.

‘The program helps to minimise the risk of clinical errors,’ said Peninsula Health Clinical Systems Project Director Lyn Jamieson.

‘At Peninsula Health, we write about 80,000 discharge scripts and 500,000 inpatient medication orders every year.

‘There are issues surrounding legibility and duplication, resulting in the excessive ordering of radiology and pathology tests and limited accessibility to patient records regarding allergies to medication.’

The push towards implementing full electronic health records across Victorian public hospitals began in 2009.

Peninsula Health and Austin Health were chosen by the Department of Health as lead agencies to develop and trial the new record system.

‘After much deliberation and testing, we were given the green light to implement the Clinical Ordering Viewing and e-Prescribing (CLOVER) system across our services from June last year,’ Ms Jamieson said.

‘Electronic medication management began in our sub-acute and mental health services earlier this year.

‘The nurses are especially receptive because it saves hours trying to decipher doctors’ hand writing!’

The working committee for the initiative, which is funded by the Department of Health, aims to have the system embedded in four major Victorian metropolitan hospitals by the end of the year.