Saving Lives: Getting SafeScript Done In Victoria

23 November 2017

The Andrews Labor Government has taken another step in setting up Australia’s first large-scale prescription monitoring system, with the appointment of an IT specialist to build Victoria’s cutting-edge SafeScript system.

With intimate knowledge of the Australian medical and pharmacy sector, and a proven track record of innovation in eHealth, Fred IT Group has been selected to develop a system to meet the needs of Victorians.

Real-time prescription monitoring will play a key role in reducing the growing harms from prescription medicine misuse, following the passage of legislation through Parliament last month.

Once it’s rolled out next year, SafeScript will give doctors, nurse practitioners and pharmacists access to up-to-the-minute information on the prescription histories of their patients, enable safer clinical decisions and reduce the harms from prescription medicine misuse.

SafeScript will be built using advanced technology. The system will be designed to be as quick and easy for clinicians to use as possible, with patient care the key focus.

It will leverage electronic Prescription Exchange Services to obtain prescription data for the system. This currently supports the electronic transfer of prescriptions between doctors and pharmacists when medication is dispensed to patients.

The Labor Government has invested $29.5 million to implement SafeScript, including comprehensive training and support for health practitioners across Victoria.

SafeScript will monitor all Schedule 8 medicines such as morphine and oxycodone – which carry the highest risk of misuse – and other high-risk medicines, including all benzodiazepines such as diazepam.

Last year, 372 Victorians died from an overdose of prescription medicines. More people in Victoria have lost their lives from the misuse of prescription medicines than the road toll for five years in a row.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“Too many Victorians have died from the misuse of prescription medicines. This is an avoidable tragedy and that’s why we’re getting SafeScript done to fix it.”

“We are partnering with Fred IT Group so we can get the best technology for Victorians. SafeScript will save lives.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley

“We have taken action so vulnerable Victorians can get the support and treatment they need to beat their addiction.”

“The system will be designed around clinicians to make sure it is used effectively in clinical practice to contribute to safer patient care – this is our key priority.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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