Electronic prescription

Spain’s Electronic Prescription system or eReceta was one of the pioneering projects in terms of electronic identity and signature both here and worldwide, since it was introduced in Andalusia in 2008. At present, all the Autonomous Communities in our country have already implemented it. It allows medical staff to issue any type of prescription digitally, so that the patient can visit any pharmacy without having to present a paper prescription. In addition, any prescription can be dispensed from any pharmacy in Spain, regardless of the autonomous community where it was issued.

In this article we will see specifically what the electronic prescription consists of, which together with Viafirma Fortress avoids unnecessary trips to health centers, especially for chronic patients; facilitating the task to doctors but also to those who attend us in pharmacies.

What is electronic prescription?

The electronic prescription is a technological procedure that allows patients to obtain the medicines prescribed by their doctor at any pharmacy in Spain. It will only be necessary to present the health card at the pharmacy and then the appropriate drugs will be dispensed.

In this way, the medical prescription is electronically recorded in the patient’s history and guarantees the continuity of treatment.

How does the electronic prescription work?

The operation of the electronic prescription is quite simple:

  1. The doctor accesses the Autonomous Health Information System and prescribes one or more medications for the patient.
  2. The patient goes to a pharmacy and gives his or her health card to the pharmacist, who accesses the Autonomous Health Information System and consults the medicines prescribed by the doctor and dispenses them to the patient.
  3. Once the patient runs out of medication, the Autonomous Health Information System automatically renews the prescription without the need to visit the family doctor again, with the frequency established by the physician in the initial prescription.

This system allows greater coordination between the physician and the doctor and also improves the patient’s pharmacological follow-up, since the drugs that are withdrawn from the pharmacy are recorded.

7 main advantages of electronic prescriptions

Here are the main benefits offered by the ePrescription:

  • Reduces visits by chronically ill patients to their primary care doctors for prescription medication only
  • Saving patient’s time and travel
  • It helps to optimize the resources dedicated to the prescription-dispensing cycle and favors the elimination of paper.
  • Does not lead to misinterpretation by the pharmacist
  • It increases the safety of treatments as there is much more control over dispensing.
  • Ensures a fraud control system as it is not possible to resort to counterfeiting in the eReceipt.
  • Allows forecasting of medication expenses

A system available in any Autonomous Community

Once the ePrescription had been implemented in the different Autonomous Communities, the second challenge was to achieve interoperability between the different Autonomous Health Information Systems. In other words, to allow a patient to purchase his or her drugs when visiting another Autonomous Community, as is usually the case during holiday periods.

All this process is carried out with secure access after the accreditation and electronic identification of the doctor and pharmacist, and with the electronic signature of the prescription and dispensing. Everything is done digitally and without the need to print any paper.

Viafirma Fortress: The signature in the cloud to speed up and connect the different ePrescription systems.

One of the main aspects to be taken into account in electronic prescription systems is to guarantee the authenticity at source and destination of the users, the integrity of the content of the prescriptions and the requirements demanded by the electronic signature regulations in the field of public administrations.

One of the drawbacks that both the doctor and the pharmacist told us was the inconvenience of using Smartcards (cryptographic card where the qualified digital certificate is generated and stored). Thanks to our platform for centralization of qualified digital certificates, you can use your certificates from anywhere, whether it is the consultation, from home or from any counter where the patient is dispensed in the case of the pharmacy office.

We are providers of electronic signature platforms, as well as solutions for the centralization of digital certificates for the digital identity of professionals.

The role of Viafirma Fortress in the ePrescription has been very relevant, since we have participated in several regional projects; both in the prescription and dispensing of medicines.

We are also currently working on several private ePrescription projects. This project, although it started much later than the public one, has very similar needs and objectives.


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