Next step in introducing the e-prescription

Released on 24.11. 2021

  • The electronic prescription should replace the paperwork. Photo: Mohssen Assanimoghaddam

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Where is my prescription? The search for the pink slip of paper could soon be a thing of the past – the electronic prescription should replace the slip of paper. Now the next step follows.

Berlin (dpa) – With a two-month delay, the nationwide introduction of the e-prescription should start soon. The responsible company Gematik announced on Wednesday that practices and pharmacies all over Germany could start and test from December 1st.

Originally, this step should take place in October. However, since there was a lack of suitable software, the voluntary nationwide introduction was initially put on hold. It is now clear that it will take place in December for one month.

The prerequisite for participation is that the practices and pharmacies have the necessary software updates in their management systems and for the Test phase have been reported to Gematik. A corresponding pilot project is currently only running in Berlin and Brandenburg. So far, only a few practices and pharmacies have been able to gain experience with the e-prescription there, according to Gematik. It should now be possible to introduce it nationwide. So it is the next step in this mammoth project in the digitization of the healthcare system.

QR code instead of slip

With the E-prescription should end the paperwork for prescriptions: Currently, those with statutory health insurance receive around 500 million prescriptions every year. In future, they should receive a QR code, either on their smartphone or – if the Gematik “E-Prescription” app is not yet used – printed out.

Access to the digital prescription via the app can be useful, for example when you have attended a video consultation and the doctor does not have to send a paper prescription by post afterwards. However, the paper recipes will not go away completely, for example during house calls. The digital prescription does not apply to privately insured persons.

According to the law, all practices will have to use the e-prescription from January. However, there are strong concerns among the medical community that most practices are a long way from being there. Pharmacists, on the other hand, are concerned that they could lose part of their stationary business to the online competition change nothing. However, it only applies to “those who are technically capable of doing so”. This makes it clear that the practices still have some time with the implementation.

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