Electronic transfer of prescriptions (eTP)

The electronic transfer of prescriptions (eTP) is the secure exchange of prescription information between prescribing software (e.g. a GP’s electronic medical records system) and pharmacy dispensing systems.

Ensuring that medicines information can be shared is the foundation for a range of healthcare benefits for both prescribers and consumers. eTP is an important step towards an ehealth-enabled healthcare system and improved medication management.

How to access eTP

There are currently two eTP services available — eRx Script Exchange and MediSecure — which may improve coordinated care and streamline workflows for general practices and pharmacies. Since December 2012, eRx and Medisecure have been interoperable (i.e. you can send information with one system and receive it with another).

Both services work with some of the most commonly used prescribing software systems, but many prescribers may be unaware they have access to eTP or how to enable the function within their systems.

Resources and further information

NPS has developed resources to provide you with more information about eTP.

The following checklists are for general practices and pharmacies that have made the decision to install eTP and need to know how to go about it.

The future of eTP

The eHealth Practice Incentive Payment (ePIP) is a government incentive for general practices. One of its aims is to incentivise uptake of eTP so Australia can transition to a fully electronic system (including scripts with electronic signatures).

The National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA) has developed draft specifications for eTP. These specifications are currently being reviewed and further developed by Standards Australia, after which they will be ready to implement. Once they have been endorsed as an Australian Technical Specification (ATS), all compliant eTP systems will work towards having the same functionality. For example, systems may be able to:

  • securely transmit and store prescriptions using the same encryption process
  • have standards-based interoperable prescription exchange services (PES)
  • create prescriptions with standardised data elements (where specified)
  • send appropriately configured and consented data to approved tools and databases at the same time as sending an encrypted prescription to the appropriate PES (e.g. for medicine list viewers showing medicines prescribed and dispensed).

For more information

Contact the e-Health Decision Support team.