What is eRD?
eRD allows the prescriber to authorise and issue a batch of prescriptions for up to 12 months with just one digital signature. Once the service is set up, the patient’s nominated dispenser receives the issues at intervals specified by the prescriber.
Patients will benefit from regular contact with their dispenser, who will be responsible for checking that their circumstances haven’t changed since the previous issue of the prescription was collected. Dispensers will also ask whether the patient needs all of the items on their prescription, in order to avoid medicine wastage.
eRD requires the dispenser to ask the following questions each time an issue of the eRD prescription is dispensed:
- Have you seen any health professional (GP, nurse or hospital doctor) since your last repeat was supplied?
- Have you recently started taking any new medicines - either on prescription or that you have bought over the counter?
- Have you been having any problems with your medication or experiencing any side effects?
- Are there any items on your repeat prescription that you don’t need this month?
Based on the patient’s answers to these questions, the pharmacist will make a clinical decision to either dispense the medication or refer the patient back to their prescriber. If a patient does not require an item, the pharmacist will mark it as 'Not Dispensed'.
The benefits of eRD for dispensers
- Improved stock control – the issues of an eRD prescription are downloaded 7 days before they are due, allowing time to order and prepare the prescription.
- Increased efficiency and more predictable workload.
- Reduced time spent collecting paper prescriptions from prescribing sites.
- Dispensers use their clinical skills to manage eRD prescriptions, which helps to enhance their professional long-term relationship with patients and prescribers.
- No need to retain and store paper issues.
- Electronic reimbursement reduces the workload at the end of the month.
- Prescriptions are automatically cancelled when the Personal Demographics Service (PDS) is updated with notification of a death.
*Throughout this toolkit, the term ‘dispenser’ or 'dispensary' refers to dispensing appliance contractors, pharmacies and dispensing staff.
How eRD works
eRD stores all of the issues of the eRD prescriptions securely on the NHS Spine and delivers them to the patient’s nominated community pharmacy at the regular intervals set by the prescriber. The prescriber retains the ability to change or cancel the prescription at any time.
The first issue is available on the NHS Spine as soon as it is signed and the subsequent issues are delivered to the pharmacy 7 days before their due date (providing the dispense notification for the previous issue has been sent), to allow time to order in stock and prepare the prescription.
Cancellation and prescription synching
eRD allows the cancellation of the whole prescription or individual items. Cancelling an item will also cancel the items from all future issues of that prescription. If the prescription is already with the dispenser, it must be returned to the Spine for the cancellation to take place. The amended eRD prescription can then be manually downloaded by the dispenser.