Prescription in new format
Five Grodno Region polyclinics pilot electronic prescription
Children’s polyclinic #1 is the largest in Grodno, with about 33,000 patients registered. Soon, all will receive plastic cards, to replace outdated paper prescriptions. Belfarmatsiya enterprise’s pharmacies will scan the bar code on a card to see medicines prescribed by the doctor, and will fulfill each order within a few minutes.
Grodno children’s polyclinic #1 is among the first in the region to pilot the new Electronic Prescription project, which is requiring medical staff to train with the new format. The head physician at the polyclinic, Irina Lukanskaya, tells us, “Having examined a patient, and heard their symptoms, the doctor prescribes necessary medicines but, instead of using paper, he or she enters data onto a computer programme, specifying the name of the medicine, its use and the validity of the prescription. It will be more convenient, since the database can display all medications and dosage, making it easy for the doctor to mark the appropriate boxes. All information then goes to the main server, used by polyclinics and Belfarmatsiya pharmacies. We’ll also print out a paper copy for the medical record and prescription form.”
The new format for prescriptions is part of a system of electronic circulation being piloted by the children’s polyclinic, alongside automated workplaces for pediatricians, and electronic appointment systems, including for home visits. Transition to electronic medical records will allow doctors to give more attention to patients, instead of spending time on paperwork.
Ms. Lukanskaya adds, “We’d like to have our laboratory and functional diagnostics room enter results of tests and examinations onto a computer database, for sharing with local doctors online. That way, doctors seeing patients can view results on their computer, rather than having to seek out reports or papers in other rooms, as usually happens. The doctor can prescribe treatment without delay, or make corrections to previously prescribed treatments.”
In the Grodno Region, of 855 doctors writing prescriptions, almost half are already using automated workplaces. All public health service institutions have Internet and e-mail access, as the network has almost universal coverage. Automated appointment systems are being implemented across all public health organisations in the region, with most polyclinics using automated ‘local therapist’ and ‘temporary disability accounting’ positions. Automated ‘general practitioners’ are being implemented via all rural mobile units.
By Yelena Semenova