EPS costing study commences


EPS costing study commences

January 18, 2016

A study assessing the costs and benefits of the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) involving 200 randomly selected pharmacies is starting this month.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) are conducting an independent assessment of the costs and benefits associated with EPS R2. This work will involve PwC visiting a sample of pharmacies from across the country in order to assess the costs to pharmacy contractors of using EPS compared to paper prescriptions.

Why is this work being undertaken?

As part of the community pharmacy funding settlement for 2015/16, PSNC agreed with NHS England that an independent assessment of the costs and use of EPS would be undertaken. A working group with members from PSNC, NHS England, the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) and NHS Employers is leading this work and has asked PwC to undertake the independent assessment.

What are PwC going to do?

As an independent party, PwC have been tasked with obtaining and using independent evidence to assess the benefits and dis-benefits to community pharmacies of operating the EPS system, in particular:

  • the time taken to manage the receipt, preparation, dispensing and claiming of prescriptions using EPS compared to paper scripts; and
  • the frequency, severity and additional costs and/or time pressures relating to system issues with the EPS system.

Why is this work important for pharmacy contractors?

This work is vital to ensure that any additional costs associated with the use of EPS can be assessed and then considered in future funding negotiations. Pharmacies have been selected to take part in the work in order to reflect the range of pharmacy types (e.g. locations, script volumes and ownership type), extent of use of EPS and the range of Patient Medication Record (PMR) systems in use across England.

It is very important that different types of pharmacy participate in this work in order that the outcomes reflect the range of experiences of EPS across the community pharmacy sector.

PSNC encourages those contractors which are selected to take part in the work to participate, as it is very important that a representative range of contractors share their experience of using EPS. PSNC will initially be contacting the pharmacy contractors who have been randomly selected to take part in the work and they will then be contacted by PwC.

Can other contractors help with the work?

If your pharmacy is not selected to be visited by PwC, it is still possible to help with the work. An online survey to collect pharmacy teams’ experiences of using EPS will be conducted by PwC as part of the work.

PSNC will alert pharmacy contractors via our website and email newsletters once this survey is made available and we would encourage all pharmacy contractors to complete the survey.

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