Electronic Scripts from Early 2020: ADHA

The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) expects to see electronic prescriptions start to become available as soon as the first quarter of 2020, after the recent release of the final “Technical Framework” for software vendors to implement the system.

Dated 31 Oct 2019, the Version 2.0 documents include an overview of the architecture of the “end-to-end national electronic prescribing framework”. “Electronic prescribing provides an option for prescribers and their patients to have a digital prescription as an alternative to a paper prescription,” the release note states.

Electronic prescribing is not mandatory, and patients and prescribers will be able to choose electronic or paper prescriptions. The architecture document notes that the implementation of electronic prescribing was identified as an “urgent priority” by last year’s Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation, with the 2018 Federal Budget including funding for upgrades to e-prescribing software to support the new prescription option.

It’s envisaged that electronic scripts will be able to be used in all medicine supply settings where paper prescriptions are currently dispensed, including community pharmacies, public and private hospitals, residential aged care facilities and in-home nursing services.

Paper prescriptions may continue to be required in cases where state or territory legislation requires additional handwritten wording - such as for S8 medicines in all states apart from WA.  The overall strategy commits to the full availability of “digitally enabled paper-free options for all medication management in Australia” by 2022.

Source:, viewed 15 November 2019