In a world where technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace, the healthcare industry is also experiencing a transformation in the way patients receive their prescriptions.
EMGuidance, a digital healthcare platform, has launched a new tool called PrescriBIT, which promises to revolutionise the way prescriptions are managed and shared in South Africa.
How digital tools are changing prescriptions
PrescriBIT is a digital prescription tool that provides pharmacies with access to up-to-date medication information and guidelines, allowing them to make informed decisions when dispensing medications to consumers. This tool will reduce work-flows for healthcare providers and pharmacies while making medication safer, more cost-effective, and easier to collect for patients.
Doctors can quickly generate digital prescriptions from an app or a PC, which offers a host of benefits, including improved accuracy, time-saving, improved patient safety and compliance, and increased efficiency. Pharmacists will benefit from scripts having a trackable history, more efficient work-flows, and a decrease in dispensing errors.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that medication errors cause at least one death everyday and injure approximately 1.3 million people annually in the United States alone. The WHO also reports that medication errors are a leading cause of injury and avoidable harm in healthcare systems worldwide.
Dr Mohammed Dalwai, the co-founder and Chief Product Officer at EMGuidance, stated that PrescriBIT solves several issues facing the South African medical industry, including rising healthcare costs, the need for greater transparency in the sector, and the ability to reduce drug errors and deliver improved patient outcomes.
The world of medicines is constantly evolving, with new drugs, science, and data around the safety and efficacy of medicines emerging almost daily. This makes it practically impossible for any doctor to stay abreast of the latest developments without the support of a digital tool. By making the system as smart as possible, it saves doctors time and reduces costs and risks.
Several tools offer digital prescription solutions that provide medical practitioners and pharmacists with a more efficient workflow.
One such tool is Medici, a telemedicine platform that handles all aspects of data storage, telemedicine consultations, and prescription delivery in one platform.
Although the benefits of digital prescription tools like PrescriBIT are clear, it is important to consider any potential risks. As with any technology, there is always a risk of data breaches or system failures.
South African healthcare professionals have been found to share prescriptions through various channels such as WhatsApp and email, which, according to Dalwai, isn’t exactly legal. For a prescription to be legal, it must be signed either in person or using an Advanced Electronic Signature (AES), he said.
Dr Dalwai, the founder of PrescriBIT, confirmed that the platform's use of AES means that all scripts are legally compliant with legislation. The use of non-manipulative trackable scripts that comply with legal regulations will enable pharmacists to accept and dispense all schedules in a digital format.
The use of the latest technology by the app ensures that prescriptions are processed faster and more accurately. In addition, doctors can easily track their patients' prescriptions, making it easier to provide the care their patients need. Patients are also provided with the ease of choosing their dispensary and can switch every month, if necessary, without going through any further administration or effort.
“Although patients can view the list of prescribed medications, they cannot view, edit, or print the full prescription, which mitigates the risk of script tampering and fraud. However, the digital script gives them the autonomy to choose their dispensary themselves – and in the case of repeat scripts, to change dispensaries every month, if they choose, without any further admin or effort,” pointed out Dr Dalwai.
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