On 19 September 2011, the Portuguese Health Ministry released a report which contains a description of the main trends regarding the scope of ePrescription in the different health system areas.
'Monitoring of Prescription Drugs - National Indicators - September 2011' ('MonitorizaÃ§Ã£o da PrescriÃ§Ã£o de Medicamentos - Indicadores Nacionais - Setembro 2011', in Portuguese) examines both electronic and manual prescriptions in the areas of primary healthcare, National Health Service (NHS) hospitals and the private sector over a six-month period (February-July 2011).
According to the report, there are positive developments in ePrescription across all three healthcare institutions areas and the given months as compared to the same time period in 2010. The percentage of ePrescriptions relative to the total amount of prescriptions received by the Invoice Checking Centre (electronic and manual prescriptions) showed an upward trend in all areas.
Currently, adherence to ePrescription varies widely among the areas. Based on a February-July 2011 aggregate, ePrescription is highest among primary healthcare, followed by NHS hospitals and the private sector (94 %, 78 % and 9 %, respectively).
The euro amount for ePrescriptions reimbursed by the NHS in relation to the overall total (electronic and manual prescriptions) has increased gradually during the six months; noticeable differences exist among the areas however, with primary healthcare distinctly ahead.
The percentage of the amount reimbursed by the NHS for ePrescriptions rose from 91.8 % to 94.1 % for primary healthcare, 74.1 % to 78.6 % for NHS hospitals and 6.8 % to 9.7 % for the private sector.
The report concludes that the level of ePrescription penetration varies widely among the three areas, with positive yet limited development in July 2011: 95 % for primary healthcare; 81.2 % for NHS hospitals; and 10.7% for doctors in private practice.
The Ministry of Health will produce internal reports on a monthly basis until the end of 2011 for both establishments and individual doctors. In 2012, these reports will be regularly consolidated by a mechanism for individual feedback.