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NO: Country-wide Implementation of ePrescriptions a Success
Source: www.epractice.eu
Source Date: Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, Internet Governance
Country: Norway
Created: Nov 25, 2011

Nearly 300 000 ePrescriptions have been issued in Norway since their introduction on 18 October 2011. ePrescriptions are being gradually rolled out throughout the country and full adoption is expected by 2013. 32 municipalities and 60 pharmacies are currently involved in the ePrescription programme, which is responsible for establishing a national, fully electronic information chain for prescription drugs and medical supplies in Norway. This chain consists of the Norwegian Medicines Agency, doctors, pharmacies and the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Organisation (NAV). It is led by the Norwegian Directorate of Health and is owned by the Ministry of Health and Care Services.

The programme aims to enhance the quality of the prescription chain, thus improving the quality of the prescriptions, reducing the error rate and augmenting the availability of prescription drugs, which will lead to an improvement in the health of the population as a whole. Another key objective is to provide the NAV with electronic documentation as a base for the payment of refunds to pharmacies in connection with reimbursable prescriptions. Furthermore, the programme seeks to strengthen the infrastructure for the exchange of electronic messages in the health sector, and to stimulate wider use of public key infrastructure-based security mechanisms.

Bergen became the first major city to introduce the scheme, which on the first day alone resulted in a 70 % increase in issued ePrescriptions and 30 % in dispensing.

Background information: The ePrescription programme underwent a pilot phase beginning in May 2010 that involved doctors and pharmacies in the municipalities of Os (Hordaland county) and Larvik (Vestfold county). By the end of 2010, doctors in these municipalities had issued approximately 50 000 ePrescriptions.

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