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Does EPS do high volume?

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  • Does EPS do high volume?

    What is the maximum number of scripts anyone has actually managed to dispense over EPS in one day?

    My PCT is having a meeting re EPS in two weeks but in my experience the systems are way too slow.

    I regularly work in 600+ pharmacies and have tried the EPS on both link evolution and pharmacy manager. Both their helpdesks quote "allow up to a minute for each script" so for say 250 forms thats over four hours just downloading whilst you can't process anything else!

    One helpdesk advised me not to scan a "wad" of scripts but to scan, wait to download, dispense then scan the next...

    So anyone doing high volume on EPS?

  • #2
    Re: Can EPS do high volume?

    Originally posted by Web Ferret View Post
    I regularly work in 600+ pharmacies and have tried the EPS on both link evolution and pharmacy manager. Both their helpdesks quote "allow up to a minute for each script" so for say 250 forms thats over four hours just downloading whilst you can't process anything else!
    Not true - needs more than one workstation though - one can queue the collected EPS scripts while the other(s) label the live scripts.

    No idea of volume as just the odd days locum - but marginally busier than I like.

    Jeff

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    • #3
      Re: Does EPS do high volume?

      I remember doing some tests in a branch a while back - the GP surgery next door to the pharmacy was producing barcoded scripts so there was a constant flow, including homes patients. If I recall rightly, we scanned and labelled around 300 scripts, mostly with three or more items on, in four hours.

      I didn't find that waiting for the scripts was to bad - I scanned in batches of 5 to 10 scripts.* Two things which slowed me down was waiting for the scripts to finish labeling / endorsing and the patient matching. Depending on your PMR system, if a GP uploads a prescription for one of your regular patients but they have an extra initial in the name, or they have put the address in to the surgery software in the wrong place (eg first line on second line of screen), then when you download that prescription your computer will suggest creating a new patient, as there is nothing which matches on your system (although Scottish pharmacies seem to keep track of CHI numbers, English / Welsh pharmacies don't seem to need to record patient NHS numbers). So if you're not on your toes, you could find duplicate patient records which you have to merge later on, not to mention the additional step of setting up a new patient.

      * Jeff is right- you will find it easier if you have two terminals - although your system should not stop you from dispensing a 'non' EPS script while you wait for messages to download.
      You're only as good as your last backup ...

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      • #4
        Re: Does EPS do high volume?

        All the branches I have experienced have two terminals and one had three.
        So any advance on 300 items...

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        • #5
          Re: Does EPS do high volume?

          We do approx 1200 items a day although not via EPS. We have been EPS enabled since May '07 and the Dr's in our health centre started issuing bar codes in Oct '07.

          We use Proscript and have found EPS very slow. When a Rx is scanned it takes 10 secs to 'download' and 10 secs to 'upload' when finished. Whilst this is happening nothing else can be done!

          I have also timed myself and my colleagues labelling Rx manually and via EPS(we did a variety of Rx with varying Numbers of items) Overall it was 3 times SLOWER using ETP. If we did every Rx via ETP i don't think we could manage with our opening hours(9-7) to do them!

          I have spoken to our software supplier about this and they said it was the NHS ETP side which was slowing things down. I have emailed via the Connecting for Health Website and have received a response that 'it is being looked into'

          If you want to email your concerns the address is, [email protected]

          Another problem i have encountered is that if a Dr. puts 'mdu' as a direction then that is what comes out on the label unless we correct it. Again another thing that slow the process down!

          So much for progress!

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          • #6
            Re: Does EPS do high volume?

            Originally posted by JonF View Post
            So much for progress!
            You want progress? move to Wales!
            Wave goodbye to Rx charges and ETP, Hello sheep!
            Ze genuine Article, present & perfect!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Can EPS do high volume?

              Thanks for that.
              This is confirming my theory that the national specifications that all the software suppliers are using is inadequate.
              I wanted some other opinions before I contacted CFH as it could be just me having bad experiences as I work in busy pharmacies.

              So far everywhere I have been is of the same opinion that to label via EPS is a lot slower than what is happening now, and this isn't a training issue either.

              This speed issue would have significant additional cost implications for pharmacies in more terminals and additional staff to do the same volume of dispensing.

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              • #8
                Re: Does EPS do high volume?

                It will be interesting to see how the phase two messages look. With any luck the schemas used will be more tightly controlled when the systems (both GP and PMR) get accredited. This will hopefully help reduce the number of 'incompatible' yet technically valid messages floating around on the spine (my experience is that messages generated by TPP System One GP system can cause issues). Along with that 'central' piece of work, it would be good to see PMR system suppliers being more intelligent with the way that they handle messages as they are received (ie checking for blank spaces in addresses, then checking the 'nicely' formatted address / details with the local record) to get more accurate patient mapping.
                You're only as good as your last backup ...

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                • #9
                  Re: Does EPS do high volume?

                  I find EPS totally unusable.

                  We have about 30 or 40 scripts come each day under the collection service.

                  I can usually have all of those labelled and ready to dispense in the time it takes to for my colleague to batch scan 5 or 10 coded ones, wait for the bloomin things to arrive, fiddle about with the whole address issue, and then inevitably have to correct most of the doses because the system doesnt recognise what the doctors written.

                  Utter waste of time in its current state im afraid IMO.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Does EPS do high volume?

                    Originally posted by Petey View Post
                    Utter waste of time in its current state im afraid IMO.
                    Couldn't have put it better myself!!

                    If any of you email CFH and get a reply please let us know on this thread! As i said earlier i'm still waiting!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Does EPS do high volume?

                      Originally posted by Petey View Post
                      I find EPS totally unusable.

                      We have about 30 or 40 scripts come each day under the collection service.

                      I can usually have all of those labelled and ready to dispense in the time it takes to for my colleague to batch scan 5 or 10 coded ones, wait for the bloomin things to arrive, fiddle about with the whole address issue, and then inevitably have to correct most of the doses because the system doesnt recognise what the doctors written.

                      Utter waste of time in its current state im afraid IMO.
                      The system does not recognise the directions because the standard dosage syntax has not yet been implemented. Find out more about it on the DM+D website.
                      Some of the systems feed the prescribed directions straight through to the label, which cases problems, especially if the dose needs to be converted to intervals for your Nursing Homes.

                      Also - if the prescription comes in, matches up automatically, prints the labels automatically and we just stick it on the box, put the stuff in a bag and hand it out - why are we needed?

                      Don't reduce the sensitivity of your dispensing radar when using EPS.
                      47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
                      2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
                      How times change.

                      If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Does EPS do high volume?

                        Originally posted by Pharmanaut View Post
                        Don't reduce the sensitivity of your dispensing radar when using EPS.
                        I seem to be upping it at the moment, even if I'm not scanning them!

                        All much slower due to having to change directions etc as mentioned above.

                        And then I got a beauty last week:

                        "Hydrocortisone cream 0.5%
                        30g"

                        ....fine so far..... but the directions:

                        "50% HYDROCORTISONE WITH 50% AQUEOUS CREAM"

                        So scanning that would have been a nightmare as the doctor intended a special but there's no way the system would accept that...... not a bad work around pre-EPS but useless now/soon.
                        Employed again... paid holidays! Yipee

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Does EPS do high volume?

                          Originally posted by Defblade View Post
                          I seem to be upping it at the moment, even if I'm not scanning them!

                          All much slower due to having to change directions etc as mentioned above.

                          And then I got a beauty last week:

                          "Hydrocortisone cream 0.5%
                          30g"

                          ....fine so far..... but the directions:

                          "50% HYDROCORTISONE WITH 50% AQUEOUS CREAM"

                          So scanning that would have been a nightmare as the doctor intended a special but there's no way the system would accept that...... not a bad work around pre-EPS but useless now/soon.
                          Please do this...
                          Get a copy of the script and send it to the clinical safety person at your PMR suppliers for notification to CfH.
                          ...it will help the rest of us.
                          47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
                          2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
                          How times change.

                          If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Does EPS do high volume?

                            Originally posted by Pharmanaut View Post
                            Also - if the prescription comes in, matches up automatically, prints the labels automatically and we just stick it on the box, put the stuff in a bag and hand it out - why are we needed?
                            Clinical checks etc? If EPS worked as it should and speeded up process it would free us up to do other things, diabetes checks etc etc etc.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Does EPS do high volume?

                              Originally posted by Zoggite View Post
                              You want progress? move to Wales!
                              Wave goodbye to Rx charges and ETP, Hello sheep!
                              You mentioned sheep in another thread! Is there something your not telling us???!!!!

                              Comment

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