Medicines can be a helpful part of treatment, but some medicines can be harmful or even fatal especially when mixed with other medicines. That’s why Queensland Health has introduced a real time prescription monitoring system called QScript.
QScript is a computer system that provides your doctors, pharmacists and other prescribers with up-to-date information about certain prescription medicines you have received.
The medicine information contained in QScript is essential for your healthcare providers and may promote open discussions with you on the safety and quality use of your medicines.
It aims to minimise risks by alerting your healthcare providers when you may be at risk of harms caused by certain medicines; for example, if you are taking too much of the medicine or if the medicine clashes with another medicine you take.
It keeps your healthcare providers informed by ensuring your doctors, other prescribers and pharmacists involved in your care have access to the same essential information.
What to expect with QScript
Your doctors, other prescribers and pharmacists are required to check QScript prior to deciding whether to prescribe or dispense certain medicines.
QScript does not instruct prescribers and pharmacists on what they should do and does not prevent them from prescribing and dispensing. The decision on whether to prescribe or dispense remains a clinical decision of your healthcare providers.
QScript keeps your healthcare providers informed about certain medicines or combinations of medicines you have received that can cause significant harm. Some examples of the medicines captured by QScript include:
- opioids that can be prescribed for pain, such as morphine (e.g. Kapanol®), oxycodone (e.g. Endone®), codeine (e.g. Panadeine Forte®) and tramadol (e.g. Tramal®)
- medicines prescribed for nerve pain, such as pregabalin (e.g. Lyrica®) or gabapentin (e.g. Neurontin®)
- benzodiazepines that can be prescribed for anxiety and/or sleep problems, such as diazepam (e.g. Valium®) and temazepam (e.g. Temaze®)
- other types of sleeping tablets, such as zolpidem (e.g. Stilnox®) and zopiclone (e.g. Imovane®)
- medicines used to treat ADHD, such as methylphenidate (e.g. Concerta® or Ritalin®)
- a type of antipsychotic medicine called quetiapine (e.g. Seroquel®)
If you are supplied one of these medicines, the prescription information will be automatically recorded in QScript. This information includes patient name, address, details of the medicine supplied (i.e. medicine name, strength and quantity), and the prescriber, pharmacist and pharmacy details.
Managing your medicines
If you are concerned about your current medicines, it is important that you do not stop any of them abruptly without speaking to your healthcare providers. They may have other options which are more suitable and safer.
Ideally, your healthcare providers will discuss with you the benefits, risks and ways to reduce potential harms that can be caused by medicines. If this hasn’t recently occurred, start the discussion with your healthcare provider. There are services available to review your current medicines, including:
- Home Medicines Review – your doctor can refer you to an accredited pharmacist who can provide a comprehensive review of your medicines and provide recommendations for you to discuss with your doctor.
- MedsCheck – your regular community pharmacy can review and organise a consultation with you about your medicines.
- Medicines Line – call 1300 MEDICINE (1300 633 424) to be connected with a registered pharmacist who can provide information on prescription medicines.
Information privacy and QScript
Your doctor, pharmacist and other healthcare providers (nurse practitioners, endorsed midwives, dentists, podiatric surgeons and endorsed podiatrists) are required by law to view your record in QScript when prescribing or dispensing these medicines. This information is essential for your healthcare providers to provide you with the safest care while ensuring the quality use of medicines. Security processes are in place to ensure only authorised healthcare providers can access the system.
QScript has been designed to meet Queensland and national security standards to protect patient information. Data is encrypted to keep information protected and secure. An audit log is created in QScript every time a record is viewed. If inappropriate use is detected penalties apply under Queensland law, and healthcare providers can be referred to the Health Ombudsman for further investigation.
Queensland Health commissioned a Privacy Impact Assessment which analysed the flows of personal and confidential information in QScript and potential privacy impacts. A summary of the QScript Privacy Impact Assessment is available for viewing.
For further information on how your personal information is managed, visit the Queensland Health website, or download the QScript Privacy collection notice for patients.
For further information about QScript, contact MMU@health.qld.gov.au.