Berlin e-prescription project: call for open market access
The GERDA project is an important step in charting the course for the nationwide rollout of e-prescriptions in Germany. After extensive preliminary work, GERDA has now gone live in Baden-Württemberg, with the pilot starting in the Stuttgart and Tuttlingen region in early November. In its role as a system-relevant shaper of the German healthcare market, NOVENTI is involved in implementing the e-prescription technical service as a technological cooperation partner, but that is not all. The pharmacies involved that work with NOVENTI systems are also playing a major role in the success of the program. Initial experience already shows that NOVENTI’s concept – comprehensive, seamless integration into the pharmacy systems used by German pharmacies on site – is being well received.
Dr. Hermann Sommer, CEO of NOVENTI Health SE, explains: “One thing that’s just as important as providing the technical infrastructure, is making sure the process goes smoothly at the pharmacy itself. We are already proving that now, with the pharmacies participating in the project who work with awinta’s ERP system and use NOVENTI’s billing services.” These local pharmacies benefit from a full-spectrum NOVENTI solution for e-prescriptions, which is now being used for the first time in live operation as part of the GERDA project. From processing at the pharmacy through to billing, the e-prescription is seamlessly integrated into normal pharmacy operations, without any losses due to friction.
Ms. Daniela Naumburger, a pharmacist from Nordbahnhof Apotheke in Stuttgart, agrees: “We really had a lot of reservations about what we should expect from the change – but for no reason at all. Our initial experience has already shown that with NOVENTI’s help, we have everything under control when it comes to e-prescriptions.”
Thanks to extensive planning, everything works well in practice: The patient receives a prescription from the doctor – now, for the first time, in the form of an e-prescription stored to the central e-prescription memory developed by NOVENTI. The key for the e-prescription is then transmitted directly to the patient via an app. In the case of the GERDA project, the docdirekt app is the one used. One important security feature is that the patient only receives a digital key, which can be used to authorize a pharmacy of the patient’s choice to pull the e-prescription from the central e-prescription memory. It is also possible to pre-order the medications at the pharmacy using the app, of course. Says Naumburger, “To us, the handling is really very simple and convenient. It doesn’t take any extra time, and it’s basically not much different from how we did things before. At the pharmacy, incoming e-prescriptions are displayed directly in the ERP system and can be imported with just one click and then processed further as usual. One especially positive development is that reading errors are a thing of the past. Closely checking the prescribing physician’s signature, which has caused us quite a bit of trouble with health insurers refusing reimbursement in the past, is also no longer necessary now.” And that’s not all, she adds: “The information on when the patient can pick up their medication is also very easy to transmit to the patient directly from the pharmacy system. I wouldn’t have thought my ERP system could even chat with an app. Since the prescription is already digitally available format, it can also be transmitted directly to the NOVENTI billing system at the push of a button and billed. There’s no need to scan the prescription anymore. Thanks to NOVENTI, we have a solution that shows the entire e-prescription process, from start to finish, at the pharmacy.”
Project open to other pharmacies
awinta pharmacies from the Stuttgart and Tuttlingen area that are interested in participating in the project are welcome to visit the website of Landesapothekerverband Baden-Württemberg, the state association of pharmacists for that region, to learn more about their options: www.apotheker.de.
Base technology from innovation leader NOVENTI sets standards
In its role as a system-relevant shaper of the German healthcare market, NOVENTI is involved in developing the technological prerequisites that go into the GERDA project. Says Dr. Hermann Sommer: “The launch of e-prescriptions is making great strides. As a technological cooperation partner for the GERDA project and a pharmacist-owned company, we are committed to make sure that e-prescriptions will be a recipe for success for local pharmacies as well. We are delighted to be able to play such a large role in this project, which is pointing the way forward for the German healthcare sector, including to have been commissioned to implement the central e-prescription technical service, which manages not only the e-prescription memory, but also the e-prescription status transitions, and provides the necessary interfaces.”
Berlin e-prescription project – call for open market access
The GERDA project is having an impact across Germany. For example, another e-prescription project is being initiated in Berlin, this time by Berliner Apothekerverein (BAV), the Berlin association of pharmacists, in cooperation with the German Pharmacists’ Association (DAV). The content of this project builds primarily on the structures of the GERDA project, which were put in place with support from NOVENTI, including the central e-prescription technical service and the implementation in the pharmacy systems and billing system. Dr. Hermann Sommer explains: “NOVENTI is ready and willing, now and in the future, to share the experiences we have gleaned through GERDA and our wealth of other expertise with the project in Berlin and other e-prescription projects. This project in Berlin is apparently not prioritizing or including the experiences of successful market players like NOVENTI, though. Still, we have already received various inquiries from pharmacies in Berlin that have NOVENTI systems and would like to participate in the project. We hope there will be open access to the market.”
Other pharmacies that are interested, have select awinta systems and are located in the area covered by postal codes 10623 to 10827 should indicate their interest in participating early on by contacting the BAV, DAV or NOVENTI.