The Role of Apps and E-Scripts in Medication Management
For patients with ongoing conditions that require multiple medications, the process of management scrips and obtaining repeats at the correct time can be complex. There is a need for a system to ensure medication compliance, and there is where developments in e-scripts and medication management apps can help. Research has found that compliance increases when patients are more engaged in their treatment process, and medication management apps aid in this.
Medication management apps in combination with e-scripts provide patients will key information such as active ingredients, brand names, repeats and expiration dates for these repeats, an image of the medication, and directs on how it is to be administered. For patients who take multiple medications this can be viewed as a list displaying all of their current prescriptions. Often, medication management apps also incorporate a reminder feature, alerting patients as to when repeats should be filled in order to ensure supply doesn’t run out.
E-scripts play an important role in allowing this service to exist, and an essentially an electronic version of legal prescriptions rather than the traditional paper format. This offers great efficiencies for both patients and pharmacists, reduces the risk of errors, and encourages continuity of care between healthcare providers.
If pharmacies facilitate the e-script and medicate management app service, patients can nominate their preferred pharmacy and submit requests for medication to be dispensed via the app. This process must be pre-arranged with the pharmacy so that they have access to the scripts and relevant information, however doing so results in a more streamlined process for both parties going forward.
If a patient wants to dispense these e-scripts through a different pharmacy than the one nominated through their medication management app, this can be achieved through the use of tokens. Tokens are a one-time key that the pharmacist can use to access the electronic prescriptions and generally come in the format of a QR code or barcode. This process allows for more flexibility for the patient and also prevents the same script from being dispensed at multiple locations, as the token will expire once scanned.
Medication management apps and e-scripts are still not commonplace for all patients but are being utilized more among those who take regular medication and manage multiple scripts. If your pharmacy doesn’t facilitate the use of these apps, you should explore incorporating this into your dispensary processes.