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E-prescription – How Does It Work, Since When Is It In Force And How To Implement It?

What is e-prescription and how does it work?

E-prescription is the name for a very complex IT system, which aims to facilitate the implementation of prescriptions by the patient, reducing the number of errors in the process of collecting a prescription, and also prevents the use of false prescriptions. The e-prescription works very much like the previous paper version. However, in this case, the entire process of issuing, the implementation from January 8, 2020, takes place online. E-prescription – How Does It Work, Since When Is It In Force And How To Implement It?

Since when is the e-prescription valid?

Work on the introduction of the e-prescription lasted for the last few years. Until December 31, 2018, service providers, i.e. all prescription issuers, were required to register their willingness on  to join the e-prescription at the Health Care Information Systems Center. Officially, on January 1, 2020, the period of compulsory issuing of e-prescriptions to doctors, dentists and any other entities having the power to issue such a document began. Because weekends and public holidays fell out in early January in 2020, the actual date of starting to use the e-prescription system was 8 January 2020.

Step by step implementation of e-prescriptions

How to use an e-prescription – how does it work? What does an e-prescription look like? With the introduction of this system, many questions arose about how electronic prescriptions should work. Meanwhile, the process of using an e-prescription is not as complex as it may seem:

You go to a doctor and the entire visit is standard, after which the doctor issues e-prescriptions. Before your visit, you can register on the site, where your e-prescription will appear later. Logging in is carried out in the Internet Patient Account at the site

After your doctor has issued an e-prescription, if you have an account on the above page, you will receive an SMS and/or email, respectively, with a 4-digit code or an attachment that will contain your e-prescription. However, if you do not set up an account before visiting the doctor – you will receive from him a printed so-called “information printout”, which looks like a paper version of a prescription.

In the pharmacy, you have the choice (depending on the previous steps and whether you have the aforementioned Internet Patient Account set up) – enter the 4-digit code from the SMS and your PESEL (or PESEL of the person for whom you buy medicines from e-prescription) or give the pharmacist a phone to scan with an e-prescription from an e-mail or simply provide the aforementioned information printout at the pharmacy. And this is the end – then you receive medicines that were listed in the e-prescription.




Where to make an e-prescription?

All pharmacies and pharmacy outlets accept e-prescriptions, so it should be possible to pick up the medicine in each one. Also, such points were marked with special stickers in blue color with the inscription “here you will realize your e-prescription”.

How much is an e-prescription valid for?

The status of an electronic prescription is the same as for a paper prescription. Prescriptions are valid for 365 days, except prescriptions for antibiotics (which are only valid for 7 days), narcotic and psychotropic drugs (30 days) and immunological preparations (120 days). Also, the maximum amount of medicine and the number of packages that can be displayed on the e-prescription at one time is enough for 180 days, no more. If the medicinal product is in a package that makes it difficult to release a sufficient amount for 180 days and it is necessary to issue a larger amount, this is acceptable, but only for one smallest package more. On the other hand, if 30 days have passed since the e-prescription was issued and you want to buy the medicine, the pharmacist can deduct the days that have elapsed from issuing to the moment of purchase.

E-prescription – advantages

E-prescription is above all a great convenience – for both doctors and pharmacists and patients, as well as saving time and greater security. It is a document that can be easily read because it has no handwritten entries. Thus, the risk that the patient will receive the wrong drug or at the wrong dose – is minimized to zero. An e-prescription is also an advantage when prescribing a larger number of drugs – because all drug “copies” are now called “partial realization” of the e-prescription and all information about a given document is included online – you do not have to use copies, no refunds are also lost, and medicines from an unused e-prescription can be bought at any other pharmacy. Until now, the custom was that having a copy of a given pharmacy, it had to be implemented at the same point.

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