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08.2014 - Press release, Traditional prescription goes digital in the Veneto Region (Italy)

Physicians and pharmacies ready for the switch off 



29th August 2014 - From next monday, 1st September, in the Veneto Region the traditional drug prescription will be replaced by an eprescription. The drug prescription will no longer be delivered to patients by general practitioners written on the traditional “red prescription”, but on a memo printed on white paper. With this reminder citizens will, as usual, go to the pharmacy and pick up the prescribed drug. A small change for the user that implies a great evolution for health services at regional level . Indeed, the infrastructure needed to implement the Electronic Health Record in the Veneto Region, essential tool to both regional and national healthcare system to improve the services, was created thanks to the dematerialisation of pharmaceutical prescriptions. To achieve the objective the process of dematerialisation of production and delivery of prescriptions has been completed thanks to the telecommunication network that connects physicians, Local Health Authorities, pharmacies, the Region and the Ministry of Economy. This goal was achieved by the Veneto Region in collaboration with all the regional Local Health Authorities and the support of Arsenàl.IT, Veneto's Research Centre for eHealth Innovation, that has as its members the LHAs and hospital trusts of the Region and coordinates the initiative within the regional Electronic Health Record project.

The system is ready for the green light on 1st September.Nowadays indeed, 98% of general practitioners and paediatricians working in Veneto already send eprescriptions, while 97% of the regional pharmacies are able to deliver drugs according to the new system.

However it should be pointed out that, in order to guarantee the continuity of service, it is still possible for physicians to use the traditional prescription during home medical examinations and in some specific situations such as for the prescription of a series of drugs excluded from the eprescription process.

It is important to underline that the regional healthsystem thanks to the transition to digital prescriptions can get relevant savings. Arsenàl.IT calculated that due to the dematerialization of pharmaceutical prescription (about 40 millions per year) the Veneto Region can save € 3,244,901 per year.

Citizens will be informed of the change by means of a communication campaign labelled as "Cambia il colore, aumenta il valore” (“The colour changes, the value increases") realized by distributinf information leaflets in the offices of general practitioners and in pharmacies.