Introduction to Electronic Prescribing and Medicines

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Introduction to Electronic Prescribing and Medicines Administration (EPMA)
Ramandeep Kaur (Board of Directors, UKCPA) @ramandeep_uhl


What is EPMA? Different systems

Users of EPMA



Tips during COVID-19

Contact Us

What is EPMA?
• Global term for all Electronic Prescribing and Medicines Administration (EPMA) systems
• Lots of different systems in the UK • Rolled out across many UK hospitals • Plan is to become completely digital by 2024

What is EPMA?
In the United Kingdom (UK), NHS Connecting for Health, 2007 (cited Tolley, 2012) defined EPMA as:
“The utilisation of electronic systems to facilitate and enhance the communication of a prescription or medicine order, aiding the choice, administration, and supply of a medicine through knowledge and decision support and provide a robust audit trail for the entire medicines use process”.
In its’ simplest form EPMA systems allow doctors to prescribe, nurses to administer medications, pharmacists to clinically review and reconcile
medications and pharmacy technicians to input drug histories and order medications. Other members of the multi-disciplinary team (MDT) may also have access to carry out duties within their professional competency.1

Different EPMA systems

Allscripts CERNER EmisHealth Meditech NerveCentre* SystmOne

Carevue Civica EPIC Medway PICS
System C Wellsky (JAC)

*Currently under development **Note, this list is not exhaustive and there are other systems used/in development

Users of EPMA systems


Dietitian Supplementary Prescribers


Medicines Administration Pharmacy Technicians



Nurse Prescribers

Nursing Associates

Occupational Therapists

Operating Department Practitioners
Pharmacy Assistants

Pharmacists Pharmacy Technicians

Pharmacist Prescribers Physiotherapists

Pre-Registration Pharmacists


*Note, this list is not exhaustive and there will b e many staff who use the systems including those who have view only access for example ward clerks, clinical coders and others.

Students: Medical, Midwifery, Nursing and

Benefits of EPMA systems

Links with other systems
including discharge
Reduction in prescribing
and administration

Saves time finding & rewriting charts

Review medication

Increased accessibility to

Improved legibility of charts
*Not all systems are linked **There may also be an increase or introduction of new prescribing and administration errors ***Not an exhaustive list of benefits

Disadvantages with EPMA systems
• It still requires human interaction! • Alert fatigue • Introduces new prescribing/administration errors • Workarounds which aren’t the correct way of
carrying out an activity • Relies on working IT equipment • Remembering your username and password if
not linked to your computer login
*Note this list is not exhaustive

Tips during COVID-19
If you are deployed to work clinically or have offered to return to service (thank you!) and need to use electronic systems here are some tips:
1. Do not panic. Everyone is here to support each other 2. Speak to your local EPMA team or line manager to
ensure you can be trained. This may be face to face or through e-learning. Note, your EPMA team will likely be working clinically too, so may not be contactable via email or usual contacts. 3. After training, ensure you have an username and password. (Keep these details safe)

Tips during COVID-19 cont’d…
4. Login to the application to ensure your details work. 5. Dependent on your role ensure you have a working
and charged device. 6. Practice on a test area if possible before carrying out
clinical duties on the live system. 7. Use the live system on your ward or in your clinical
area. This may seem daunting at first, but remember you are not alone. There will be people who will have used the EPMA system before so ask for help if not sure. 8. Remember to charge your device after use.

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Introduction to Electronic Prescribing and Medicines