What is eRx Script Exchange?
eRx Script Exchange is the first Australia-wide platform for e-scripts. It allows GPs, medical specialists and other prescribers to send e-scripts with confidence, knowing that patients can have them dispensed in 99% of pharmacies around Australia.
Scripts are encrypted and sent to a secure gateway, for retrieval at a patient’s pharmacy of choice. eRx is a platform designed to easily incorporate e-health standards as they are finalised and implemented.
eRx Script Exchange is an industry initiative integrating 19 leading medical and pharmacy software vendors. eRx Script Exchange is part of the FRED IT Group.

Why are eScripts important?
Electronic prescriptions reduce the chance of keying errors during dispensing, which enhances patient safety and strengthens confidence that you are getting the right medication at the right time. You will have a better health care experience overall, as a result of improving coordination and management of care between GPs and pharmacies. Advances in use of computer technology, such as eRx Script Exchange, are an important step in managing the growing health care costs in Australia.

What happens?
Your doctor will print a paper prescription as normal, but now with an eRx barcode on it. At the same time, the prescription information is sent securely to eRx Script Exchange. You can then walk into any Australian pharmacy to have your medication dispensed. The pharmacist will scan your prescription barcode and this will retrieve your script information.

Is my information secure?
All of your personal and medication information is fully encrypted so that it is completely private and secure. Only your doctor and pharmacist can see your information, as they can now. eRx is not able to decrypt or see your information.
eRx acts like an “electronic postman” and we do not open your mail. All patient and script information is locked with three levels of encryption before it leaves the doctor’s computer and can only be opened when it arrives at the pharmacy.

What makes eRx different?
eRx is the leader in electronic prescriptions and electronic medication management in Australia.
eRx has taken a unique approach to the electronic transfer of prescriptions by engaging with all the major prescribing and dispensing vendors in Australia. Through comprehensive contract agreements, users of eRx are provided with guaranteed performance levels and end user support through your vendor while using the system.
eRx’s approach means that that doctors, specialists and pharmacists need no new hardware or software. You simply need to update your existing prescribing or dispensing software.

Does this mean the end of paper prescriptions?
eRx will run in parallel with the existing paper prescription system. Options to phase out paper prescriptions are being investigated and reviewed with all appropriate parties, including NEHTA, Standards Australia and DOHA.

What if a pharmacy or prescriber is not connected to eRx?
The paper based prescription continues to act as the official document, which will ensure that the prescribing and dispensing of medication can always occur.

How do doctors and pharmacists become a user of eRx?
All doctors and pharmacists can register to use eRx. The registration will be provided to your nominated software vendor to allow them to activate eRx for you.

What does eRx look like to the user?
eRx is integrated as part of your clinical software and so the workflow and user interface design is determined by each Vendor Partner. Click on the Vendor pages on this website for further details on how eRx works in your chosen clinical software.

How much does it cost?
There are no sign-on fees, no licence costs, and no lock-in contracts for doctors, specialists and pharmacists. There are also no transaction costs for doctors.
The eRx model is based on a pharmacy user-pays system. However, dispensing of electronic scripts will be effectively free for all pharmacies as a result of a new pricing policy announced by eRx Script Exchange in May 2010. The policy includes two major changes. eRx will lower its transaction fee to match the 15c incentive payment under the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement. eRx will also exchange all electronic scripts not currently funded by the incentive scheme at no cost. This includes private scripts and pharmacy initiated originals and repeats therefore ensuring that pharmacies are not out of pocket for using e-Scripts.

For further information visit 5CPA and No Cost Policy

Is eRx private and secure?
Yes. The only people who see the transmitted data are those that already see the paper script. – i.e. doctors and pharmacy staff. All messages transmitted to and from eRx are encrypted utilising international standard security tools including existing HeSA PKI certificates. This provides security such that eRx has no ability to decrypt and read data.

What independent checks has eRx undergone regarding privacy and security?
eRx has passed an independent Security Assessment and Privacy Impact Assessment, which means they are accredited under the Australian Government National eAuthentication Framework around security and ensuring they meet all obligations under the Privacy Act 1988.

How does eRx help with emergency supply prescriptions and new script requests?
eRx will facilitate the communication of emergency supply and new prescription requests between prescribers and pharmacies.

Does the patient need to give consent to use eRx?
For transactions between prescribers and dispensers, consent is implied in the initiator’s consultation with the patient in the same way that it is currently done with the paper system. If the patient does not wish their record to go through eRx they should speak to their doctor and pharmacist.