North Rhine-Westphalia: Westphalia-Lippe should make progress with the e-prescription

Originally, the digital prescription was to become mandatory nationwide in January.

North Rhine-Westphalia: Westphalia-Lippe should make progress with the e-prescription

Originally, the digital prescription was to become mandatory nationwide in January. With new specifications, the mammoth project is now to be advanced at a faster pace.

Berlin (dpa / lnw) - Westphalia-Lippe should play a pioneering role in the introduction of the e-prescription. As the semi-state company Gematik announced on Wednesday in Berlin, a pilot process will start in the region on September 1st. More and more medical practices and clinics are to take part so that the use of digital prescriptions increases significantly and finally there can be talk of a nationwide application. In December, the digital prescription should then become mandatory. The prerequisite for this, however, is that the shareholders of Gematik - in addition to the federal government, also doctors, clinics and health insurance organizations - rate the procedure in autumn as a success.

In addition to Westphalia-Lippe, Schleswig-Holstein is another region where e-prescriptions are to be speeded up from September. The other regions and federal states will be added later. The CEO of the Westphalia-Lippe Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, Dirk Spelmeyer, said after the decision that it was very important to evaluate processes and structures on the way to widespread use of the e-prescription. "We want to reduce bureaucracy and time-consuming hybrid solutions, this is the only way for everyone involved to benefit from the e-prescription."

The e-prescription is a mammoth project in digitization. So far, progress has been slow, actually a nationwide obligation should have been in effect since January. After criticism from the medical profession, who feared problems with the implementation, the mandatory start was cancelled. A voluntary nationwide test phase is currently underway, in which a good 24,000 e-prescriptions have been redeemed in six months. Measured against the 500 million paper prescriptions per year, this is a negligibly small proportion. After all, the usage curve goes up at a low level.

It was unclear when the nationwide mandatory start should be. On Wednesday, Gematik announced the decision according to which there will initially only be a nationwide obligation for pharmacies, starting September 1st. With the inclusion of medical practices and hospitals, the regional stage model is now being developed, in which Westphalia-Lippe and Schleswig-Holstein are to make progress.

The e-prescription only applies to those with statutory health insurance and not to those with private health insurance. Instead of pink slips of paper, the user receives a code on their smartphone with which they can get the medicine from the pharmacy. If you don't have the required app or don't use a smartphone, you get the code printed out on a piece of paper.

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