The Victorian Government is taking action to reduce the growing harms, including deaths, from high-risk prescription medicines by implementing SafeScript, Victoria’s real-time prescription monitoring system.
SafeScript is computer software that allows prescription records for certain medicines to be transmitted in real-time to a centralised database which can then be accessed by doctors, nurse practitioners and pharmacists during a consultation.
Amendments to the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 (Vic) have been introduced to enable SafeScript in Victoria.
What information is being collected about a health professional and how will it be used?
When a prescription is issued or dispensed, there are existing regulatory requirements on what information must be included on the prescription or the dispensing record. This includes the details of the patient, the medicines that are being prescribed, as well as details of the prescriber and pharmacist. This information is collected by SafeScript for certain high-risk prescription medicines.
SafeScript provides you access to view records of all high-risk medicines that have been supplied to your patient from you and other clinicians. This enables you to make safer and more informed clinical decisions, and facilitates the co-ordination of treatment and communication between clinicians by giving you visibility of all clinicians involved in the patient's care.
Authorised Victoria’s Department of Health (the department) staff will also access SafeScript as part of their existing regulatory role in ensuring the safe supply of medicines in the community. SafeScript will provide the same information that the department currently obtains from medical clinic and pharmacy records to undertake existing health practitioner compliance activities.
Registering to use SafeScript
Information about you and your practice, including your publicly available registration details with AHPRA and prescriber number, is required as part of the on-boarding process for SafeScript.
You are asked to provide your date of birth when you register to use SafeScript which assists in verifying your identity and confirming your AHPRA registration details. Once this verification step is completed, your date of birth will not be stored in SafeScript.
You are also asked to provide your email address (required) and phone number (optional). These details will not be made publicly available and will only be used to communicate necessary correspondence to you, such as when you request a password reset or when there are important updates about SafeScript which you need to know.
Failure to provide this information will mean that you are unable to use SafeScript. This may be in breach of your obligations under legislation when the system becomes mandatory in April 2020.
How is my privacy protected?
There are specific legislative requirements to ensure people who are authorised to access information in SafeScript are doing so in an appropriate manner.
There are offences and strict penalties under the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 (Vic) as well as the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic) and the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) for improper use or disclosure of information contained in SafeScript.
How can I correct a record in SafeScript if I believe it is incorrect?
Prescribers: Records about what you have prescribed are sourced from records created from your practice software and from the pharmacies where your prescriptions were dispensed, including handwritten prescriptions.
Pharmacists: Records about what your pharmacy has dispensed are sourced from records created from your pharmacy’s dispensing software. SafeScript does not alter records sourced from practice or dispensing software. If you believe there is an error in a particular record in SafeScript, the record may be corrected by amending the record created in the practice or dispensing software. The corrected information will be automatically updated in SafeScript.
Reviewed 08 November 2021