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There Will Always Be A Place For Paper Prescriptions

20th July 2017

Fuelled by the need to increase efficiencies and cut costs, the NHS is continuously considering processes that will streamline operations. However, it is fundamental that at the same time, it continues to deliver the same high standards of care, even when taking reductions in budgets and resources into account.

One such consideration is the digitisation of traditionally paper-based systems. As part of this, the NHS is pushing towards the practice of issuing e-prescriptions to patients.

As well as cutting down on paper usage, the introduction of an electronic prescription service enables prescription requests to be sent directly through to the pharmacy, speeding up the preparation process.

Whilst the benefits of an online system undoubtedly has time and cost saving benefits, it is still of huge importance to many people to have a physical prescription.

With the hacking of the NHS still at the forefront of patients’ minds, many could worry that there is an increased risk of hackers accessing sensitive information through an online prescription service, so might be reluctant to sign up to the new protocol.

Whilst e-prescriptions may seem like a natural progression for the digitally savvy younger generation, for elderly patients the shift may not be quite so readily welcomed, particularly if they are without access to a computer. Many older customers would far prefer the reassurance and simplicity of having paper printed confirmation of the medication that has been prescribed.

Another concern with e-prescriptions is that the requests could be sent to the wrong pharmacy, or not received at all, putting the patient in the position of having to sort the situation out with the reception team at the practice. This would also place an additional burden on front of house staff, effectively reducing some of the time and cost saving benefits of the e-service.

One solution to these issues is the installation of low-cost mini printers that seamlessly integrate into the new e-prescription process. This would enable the practice to issue low-cost printed copies of prescription requests where there is a requirement, while still benefiting from the efficiencies of an e-prescription service.

Able Systems has a range of high performance, easy-to-use healthcare printers that have been specifically designed with the industry’s precise requirements in mind. The market-leading Ap1400 and Ap1200 thermal printing series, for example, are often built-in to host equipment and are used frequently within the healthcare sector. Additionally, there is a range of desktop printing solutions available, such as the Ap1300 and Ap1310 series, which offer a flexible solution for remote connections (e.g. via a simple serial port), making them beneficial for use in certain environments.

With the ever-increasing need to reduce costs within the healthcare service, digitalisation is an inevitable step for the sector to take. The combination of the digital system with a low-cost, high efficiency healthcare printer satisfies these requirements, whilst still providing a high level of customer care and reassurance to patients.

For more information about the healthcare printing solutions available from Able Systems, including the Ap1400, Ap1200 and Ap1300 ranges, please visit