ScriptCheckWA registration and support materials now available

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ScriptCheckWA is Western Australia’s Real Time Prescription Monitoring (RTPM) system, which is now available to all pharmacists practising in WA.

As the recognised risk management experts for pharmacists, PDL is focused on supporting members to understand the new regulatory requirements and assist them as they adjust workflows to implement the new requirements.

What is ScriptCheckWA?

ScriptCheckWA is a decision-making tool that provides pharmacists with up-to-date information about a patient’s history and use of monitored medicines. The information available in ScriptCheckWA needs to be incorporated with all other available information to make the best decision possible at the time of interaction with a patient. The Department of Health also monitors data within ScriptCheckWA and can take action in response to any concerning patterns of prescribing and dispensing.

The medicines monitored via ScriptCheckWA are considered to be high-risk due to their potential to result in drug dependence and other harms, including overdose. While these medicines are widely prescribed and will help many patients, they may also be misused and diverted for non-medical use. ScriptCheckWA has the potential to help save lives and reduce harm in the community.

What medicines are monitored currently in ScriptCheckWA?

Initially, only Schedule 8 medicines will be monitored through ScriptCheckWA. However, this may expand to other high-risk Schedule 4 medicines in the future. WA Health has indicated that they will consider recommendations from workshops held in 2019 with key stakeholders and approaches taken by other states and territories when determining which medicines will be monitored in ScriptCheckWA in the future.

How does ScriptCheckWA integrate into your workflow?

ScriptCheckWA integrates with your dispensing software to alert you of potential high-risk situations. As with most RTPM systems, it uses a traffic light system with pop-up warnings.

  • Red warnings = High risk e.g. multiple prescribers, high doses, large quantities
  • Orange warnings = Moderate risk e.g. multiple prescribers with moderate doses and/or quantities
  • Green warnings = Low/no risk e.g. one prescriber and seemingly appropriate doses and quantities

The pop-up warnings act as a guide only. Pharmacists must use their own clinical judgement.

If there is any doubt, PDL would encourage pharmacists to consider deferral of supply until they can gather further information to make a decision on whether supply is appropriate. Pharmacists are encouraged to contact the prescriber prior to deferral or refusal to supply.

Are hospitals included in the initial rollout?

In the first phase of delivery, WA public hospitals and some private hospitals will not be integrated with the ScriptCheckWA system. Therefore, prescribing and dispensing information from these locations may not be included in ScriptCheckWA. Prescribers and pharmacists in these locations will still be able to view information in ScriptCheckWA.

Is the use of ScriptCheckWA mandatory?

Whilst the use of ScriptCheckWA will not be mandated initially, all prescribers and pharmacists are encouraged to use the system.

The Medicines and Poisons Regulation Branch of WA Health has however advised that a patient is harmed because a prescriber or pharmacists chooses not to view the information on ScriptCheckWA, they will have to justify their decision not to do so.

Where can I register and learn more about ScriptCheckWA?

PDL strongly urges all pharmacists who are practising in WA, irrespective of their practice setting, to register for ScriptCheckWA and to complete the educational modules that are available.

To support these new obligations and changes to practice, NPS MedicineWise has a series of three learning modules available to upskill pharmacists on the use of the WA ScriptCheck system. Given the impact of the changes to both your clinical role and regulatory compliance requirements, these accredited learning activities should be included in every registered pharmacist’s CPD learning plan. Access the learning modules on the NPS MedicineWise Learning ScriptCheckWA web page.

For more information, visit the WA Department of Health Real Time Prescription Monitoring web page.

This Practice Alert was produced with the input of the PDL WA Local Advisory Committee.

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For immediate advice and incident support, call PDL on 1300 854 838 to speak with one of our Professional Officers. We are here to support our pharmacist members 24/7.