EPS Phase 4 pilot update and top tips for pharmacy teams

EPS Phase 4 pilot update and top tips for pharmacy teams

July 3, 2019

The NHS Digital pilot of EPS Phase 4 is continuing and all pharmacy staff need to be aware that they could receive a paper EPS Phase 4 token from a patient to process.

Around 60 GP practices are now able to use EPS for patients without an EPS nomination: patients will be given a paper Phase 4 token with a scannable barcode instead of a signed paper prescription.

Although the GP pilot sites are in specific areas, patients can choose to take their token to any pharmacy in England.

As with all EPS prescriptions, dispense notifications and endorsements need to be added to the electronic prescription using your pharmacy system. Endorsements written or printed onto any type of EPS token will not be processed by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA).

If the pilot is determined a success, EPS Phase 4 will be deployed to further sites – potentially during Autumn 2019. Further announcements about wider roll-out will be made in due course.

Phase 4 top tips for pharmacy teams

  • If you receive a Phase 4 token, you should scan the barcode and dispense it as you would any other electronic prescription.
  • Pharmacy teams can use the green Phase 4 prescription tokens to capture any patient exemption-related or charge-related signatures.
  • Some pharmacy teams that process the Phase 4 token used a highlighter pen to highlight the ‘Prescriber signature not required’ wording on the token, to highlight that it is a Phase 4 token rather than a barcoded paper prescription.
  • Green Phase 4 tokens should be filed with all the other white EPS tokens and not within the main bundle of paper prescriptions before the submission is sent to the NHSBSA.
  • Consider your system and print settings. Many PMR systems have settings to customise which types of EPS prescriptions may automatically have a white EPS dispensing token printed.
  • During the pilot, patients have sometimes filled in the back of the green Phase 4 token before they arrived at the pharmacy. If the pharmacy process involves shredding the green Phase 4 token and replacing it with a newly printed white dispensing token, the patient will have to complete the reverse of the dispensing token. To address this scenario, some pharmacy teams have changed their initial Phase 4 approach so that they use the green Phase 4 token for patient declarations, rather than printing out a new white EPS dispensing token for each Phase 4 script.

If you have an EPS Phase 4 issue that requires reporting, you can use the usual escalation routes to do this. If you have any questions or comments on EPS Phase 4, please contact PSNC’s Community Pharmacy IT Lead, Daniel Ah-Thion.

Read more at EPS Phase 4.

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