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EPS in integrated urgent care - information for prescribers

Smartcards

If you use EPS in integrated urgent care settings, you will need a valid, individual smartcard with an appropriate role profile that includes EPS access rights. See a full list of role profiles suitable for EPS in urgent care

Smartcards are assigned to individuals, not care settings, and so must be kept at all times with the user. This means that if you work elsewhere in addition to urgent care, for example as a GP in a practice, you will need to ensure you take your smartcard with you. Find out more about your responsibilities as a smartcard holder. 


Training

Before you can access EPS in urgent care you must complete an e-learning module.

The learning takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. It is interactive and will require you to click on different parts of the screen. It is best to complete this training before using the live system. You can revisit it at any time for a refresher if required.

Your provider will give you instructions on how to complete the e-learning.


The prescribing process

Here are the steps of the prescribing process:

1.    Make the decision to prescribe and create an EPS prescription. The patient needs a valid NHS number and the medication must be in the dictionary of medicines and devices (dm+d). No more than four items can be prescribed using EPS.

2.    Search for a community pharmacy using the search function in EPS and select the most appropriate pharmacy for the patient at that time. It is the responsibility of pharmacies to update their details in the Directory of Services (DoS), including their opening hours. 

3.    Depending on the situation you are presented with, you may consider it necessary to contact the pharmacy to alert them to this prescription. EPS alone is unable to guarantee that the dispenser:

  • will be made aware of the urgency of the prescription
  • has the medication in stock
  • can dispense the medication

See 'Reviewing clinical urgency ' section below for more information.

4.    Confirm with the patient what you have prescribed and give them the full pharmacy address and postcode, along with the prescription ID. If your system allows it and the patient has a mobile phone, you can issue a text message which provides the prescription ID and pharmacy details. Inform the patient that providing the prescription ID to the pharmacy will make it easier for them to locate the prescription. 

5.    Issue the prescription and sign it with your electronic signature. This requires a smartcard with appropriate role and access rights. 


Reviewing clinical urgency

Urgent care settings support patients who do not have access to their regular GP practice out of hours and there is a greater likelihood of these patients requiring an urgent prescription. Therefore, you must consider whether it is appropriate to contact the dispenser to alert them to the prescription.  

EPS alone is unable to guarantee that the dispenser:

  • will be made aware of the urgency of the prescription
  • has the medication in stock
  • can dispense the medication

The urgent care clinical systems have a built-in declaration to support this.

Depending on the situation you are presented with, you may consider it necessary to contact the dispenser to alert them to this prescription. 

Declaration:

I confirm that I have:

  • sent this prescription to an open pharmacy of the patient's choicea
  • advised the patient to collect their medication from that pharmacy
  • advised the patient that should they, for whatever reason, be unable to obtain the prescribed medication they should call the issuing service for further advice

Electronic cancellation

In urgent care, if an electronic prescription item needs to be changed or stopped, the whole prescription must be cancelled. A replacement prescription should be generated for whichever item(s) the patient now requires. Both the patient and pharmacy should be informed of the change to avoid any confusion.

Electronic prescriptions can be cancelled at any point until they are dispensed to the patient. You will be able to electronically cancel any prescriptions created by your service. 

Administration staff can also cancel prescriptions if this has been added as a specific activity to their smartcard. Your service will decide who should be able to do this and ensure sufficient rights are added to smartcard role profiles.

Find out about the responses you will receive by cancelling a prescription.


EPS Prescription Tracker

You can use the EPS Prescription Tracker to check the status of prescriptions issued by the urgent care service using the prescription ID or the patient's NHS number. Access the EPS Prescription Tracker.

Last edited: 11 April 2018 5:28 pm