Patient Safety Alert re GP system switching

Patient Safety Alert
Switching GP clinical system suppliers when live with
Release 2 of the Electronic Prescription Service
Currently not all GP clinical system suppliers migrate all Electronic Prescription Service
(EPS) data when a GP practice switches to an alternative clinical system.
The migration of EPS data must include:
 the prescription GUID (Globally unique ID) which is needed to ensure the prescription
within the clinical system to remains linked to the un-dispensed prescription on the Spine
 any post pated prescriptions which are held on the clinical system until the prescribed
future date
GP clinical system suppliers’ are working to ensure that the all EPS data will be migrated when
a practice switches systems The EPS team at the HSCIC will publish regular reports showing
their progress but do not assure the migration of data when a GP practice decides to switch
clinical systems.
In the meantime there is a risk where the GUID is not migrated to the new system and there is a
need to cancel an EPS prescription that has not yet been dispensed. In this case the practice
will not be able to cancel a prescription electronically and will have to contact the nominated
dispenser directly to ensure the prescription is not dispensed and the patient does not receive
the medication the practice wished to cancel.
In switching clinical systems there is also a risk as electronic prescriptions that are post-dated to
a date after the practice has switched systems will not be migrated to the new prescribing
system for future transmission to the Spine, In these circumstances the required medication will
not be available for the patient.
It should be noted that the initial prescriber continues to have responsibility for any outstanding
prescriptions and any clinical safety incidents that arise as a result of absent, duplicate or
excessive medications.
As part of the planning to switch GP clinical systems, GP practices that use EPS Release
2 and issue post-dated prescriptions or use electronic repeat dispensing should
consider the above risks and in order to mitigate the risks it is recommended, as a
minimum, that those practices:
Contact their old and new system suppliers to discuss how they can support them
mitigate the above risks. (They can provide reports on post dated prescriptions.)
Discuss the above risks with their CCG and CSU.
Consider producing paper post-dated prescriptions instead of electronic ones in the run
up to the system switch over day.
Obtain a report from the EPS team at HSCIC (email of all of the
repeat dispense prescriptions that are on the Spine. (A minimum of one weeks’ notice is
Seek any appropriate advice from their medical defence union and discuss any
mitigations they are putting in place to minimise clinical risk.
Ensure they are aware how EPS works in their new system and if they will need to adapt
their prescription management processes.
For an up to date position of system suppliers’ progress on resolving these issues please see
the HSCIC website [ND add supplier table and link to specific webpage]
If you would like to discuss this with the EPS team, please contact the Senior Implementation
Manager for your area, details can be found on the HSCIC website