How to develop the e-prescription?


The activity of the Center for Healthcare Information Systems (CSIOZ) aims to improve the quality of medical services provided by building an information society and developing e-Health in Poland. "Electronic Platform for Collection, Analysis and Provision of Digital Resources on Medical Events" - P1 is a key project of CSIOZ whose most important element is the electronic prescription. E-prescription has been for a long time the priority of computerization of the healthcare sector in Poland. Similar systems have been operating already in many countries across the European Union for many years.


In 2017, a tender had been announced and Pentacomp was selected as the e-prescription contractor. The evaluation of our offer was influenced by the existing 8-year-old activity on the health market and experience in the effective integration of hospitals with the Subcarpathian Medical Information System. We also took part in the adaptation of the HL7 standard recommended by the European Union. It was not without significance, as building an electronic prescription system across the whole country, with the prospect of later cross-border cooperation, requires knowledge of global standards for data exchange between IT systems, adapted to Polish conditions. Integration with e-prescription will include systems of all pharmacies and medical units of service providers whose systems are often different. We were aware that many experienced experts have problems with similar challenges.


We felt a great deal of time pressure. From the very beginning, we have undertaken intense work in a completely new form. The target was the goal orientation, which is why we used the agile approach that was close to us. This was a particular challenge considering the size of a team - 70 people. In addition, there is a common belief that the use of SCRUM in public projects is not possible. In fact, SCRUM has enabled us to respond smoothly to all changes in customer requirements and to deliver incremental effects. On another hand, the Center had a full insight into the progress of work at each stage of the project and the ability to make decisions towards the further direction of work on an ongoing basis.

Pentacomp together with CSIOZ ensured that the e-prescription complies with the Polish National Implementation of the HL7 CDA standard and the IHE PRE profile (with the English prescription). The integration of system components was successful after less than 7 months. In February 2018, the e-prescription pilot already has started in Skierniewice and Siedlce. Medical centers and pharmacies should only update their software in order to display and implement e-prescriptions.


Pentacomp has helped CSIOZ to fulfill its statutory obligations and to meet the declared deadlines. As an effect, the healthcare system obtains strict control over the turnover of reimbursed drugs. For medical centers, e-prescription means reducing the costs associated with issuing prescriptions and simplifying the process of their implementation for the pharmacist. The electronic prescription is characterized by greater credibility and better readability.

However, the undertaking entails a number of benefits for the patient:

  • time-saving and increased security
  • no problems with reading prescriptions
  • clear and concise information on the dosage
  • improvement of care for chronically ill
  • reducing the risk of undesirable interaction of active substances

Finally, together with CSIOZ, we showed that e-prescription is a system that can be effectively implemented in Poland. Together, we have taken an important step towards the digitization of Polish healthcare. We believe that in 2020, patients, pharmacists, and doctors will say: "e-prescription? It's simple and convenient. "

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