Okay, let’s start at the beginning. The High Tech Scheme was created by the government to pay for very expensive and specialised medicines for citizens of the state. The High Tech Scheme is very unique amongst all the schemes that exist between the PCRS and pharmacy contractors, as with the High Tech Scheme, the government (PCRS/HSE) actually pays the wholesaler/manufacturer directly and no money is spent by the pharmacy to order the medicine. So when you order a high-tech medicine, the wholesaler/manufacturer sends the invoice directly to PCRS/HSE and they send the pharmacy a delivery docket which we attach to the unified claim form.
High Tech Scheme medicines expenditure has risen steadily over the last decade and last year the overall spending on the scheme was about €662 million, up a significant amount from €328 million in 2011.
The total value of the stock on hand in pharmacies for the High Tech Scheme increased by over €2 million, from €53 million in 2016 to €55.7 million in 2017.
Effectively, the PCRS envisages that the vast amount of their medicines spending will be high-tech medicines and they want to gain better control of how the medicines are ordered so that they can better manage their overall expenditure on the scheme.
The official name of the portal is High Tech Ordering and Management System but most people refer to it as the High Tech Hub.
The High Tech Hub, is used by the PCRS to monitor the ordering of High Tech medication and to reduce the instances of wastage. So what happens is that before an order can be placed by a pharmacy with a supplier, it will be screened by the PCRS before it goes to the supplier. The PCRS may choose to approve or reject an order made and request more information, e.g the patient already got a supply that month. It also means that orders for medicines will be patient-specific, which differs from the previous way of ordering whereby you could order the High Tech Medicine as you would other prescription-only medicines without having to tell the supplier who the medicine is for.
How is the High Tech Hub different?
With the way the High Tech Hub has been designed, in order to be able to order items from suppliers, you have to link it to a specific patient. So previously, when you needed to order a High Tech Medicine, there was no transfer of information about the patient you were ordering for, etc. Now the PCRS have set up the system so that you can only order medicines for one specific patient at a time.
For example, if you needed to order 2 boxes of a High Tech Medicine previously for two different patients, you could ring up the supplier and request 2 boxes of X, now with the hub, you will need to place two separate orders from the patient’s prescription details online.
For this reason, it is important to be able to find a prescription or enter it into the hub if it is missing for the patients. The High Tech Hub is being rolled out on a phased basis according to therapeutic class grouping.
In this Blog Post we will cover the following topics:
- Finding the High Tech Hub
- The High Tech Hub Homepage
- Finding a Prescription on the High Tech Hub
- Prescription Not Found and how to deal with it
Step 1 – Find the Patient’s Details
Step 2 – Confirm or Amend Patient Details
Step 3 – Input Prescription Details
- Prescription Found
- Ordering the High Tech Medicine from the listed supplier.
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Finding the High Tech Hub
- It is found under the Pharmacy Application suite at the URL – https://www.hse.ie/eng/staff/pcrs/online-services/ or better still just put in the search term “PCRS online” into google and this will be the first hit.
- Then you will arrive at the Pharmacy Application Suite, Select the High Tech Module Link as shown below
- Then you will arrive at the High Tech Section, Select the High Tech Hub as shown below
- This will then bring you into the High Tech Hub homepage:
The High Tech Hub Homepage
This is where you will be able to carry out most of the functions of the hub , which I have classified under 3 main headings:
- Enter and Register patient details on your pharmacy high tech hub profile
- Enter the prescription details of the patient
- Order the High Tech Medicine for the patient from the selected supplier.
There is a menu bar from which can select to see:
- My Notifications– which is usually just updates from the PCRS e.g order approved
- My Patients – which is the list of patients already registered to your pharmacy on the High Tech Hub. It’s important to note, this is not the full list of patients who are already receiving High Tech Medicines from your pharmacy
- My Orders – You can track your past and current orders here
- Suppliers – You can set up your preferred High Tech Suppliers and also set up a preferred supplier for a specific High Tech Medicine.
Finding a Prescription on the High Tech Hub
On the High Tech Hub Homepage, you will be requested to put in the serial number of the High Tech Prescription you have for the patient. This serial number usually has the format of HT123456 or HTX123456 or HTP1234567.
When you put in the serial number of the prescription and click the find button there are two scenarios that will occur:
- Prescription not found – The first scenario is that the patient’s prescription is not already on the hub and you will need to manually enter all the details first of the patient and the prescription before you will be able to order the hi-tech medicine for the patient.
- Prescription found – The second scenario is that the patient’s prescription is either on the hub as it was previously registered by either your pharmacy or the prescriber who is responsible for the patient. This is more straightforward and requires less work on our part.
Prescription Not Found and how to deal with it.
If a patient is either presenting to you for the first time or maybe this is the first time their High Tech Medicine has added to the list of medicines that need to be ordered through the High Tech Hub and their prescriber had not registered the prescription already online for the patient, then there is a good chance you will get the “Prescription not found. Please enter patient details” message on the screen as shown in the image below.
This is not a cause to panic, it does not mean the prescription is not valid or a forgery, it just means that no one has entered the prescription details ever on the High Tech Hub. you will just have to manually enter the prescription details step by step.
Step 1 – Find the Patient’s Details
- When you put in the serial number and you get the “Prescription not found. Please enter patient details”. The High Tech Hub, will prompt you to enter the patient’s scheme and patient number ( scheme number) into the platform to search for the patient.
- (It is important to note that for a patient to be able to avail for the High Tech Medicines Scheme, they must be registered already as a GMS/LTI/DPS of HAA patient with the PCRS and if they are not registered on any scheme, you will need to do a DPS Emergency Registration for the patient on the PCRS Pharmacy Application Suite.)
- Once you put in the patient scheme number, it should automatically bring up the patient’s personal details on the next screen.
Step 2 – Confirm or Amend Patient Details
- Once the patient details have been found by the High Tech Hub and you will be given the option to amend details as shown. This page asks you to confirm the patient information and check that the patient information matches the details you have for the patient.
- After you have entered the patient details there are 3 scenarios that could occur:
- If the person is already registered prior to the high tech hub as a high tech patient and your pharmacy is the nominated pharmacy then you will be asked if you want to just register the patient on the high tech hub or if you would also like to enter the details of the prescription they have presented.
- If the person is already registered as a high tech patient but they do not have a nominated pharmacy then you will be asked to nominate your pharmacy as the person’s nominated pharmacy. The patient must have completed and signed the High Tech Nomination Form before you can choose this option. After this, you will be asked if you want to just register the patient on the high tech hub or if you would also like to enter the details of the prescription they have presented.
- If the person has not yet been registered ever as a high tech patient then you will be asked to enter more details about the patient, before you can proceed.
- Each of the three scenarios leads to the same outcome eventually. Which is to either:
- Just register the patient, or
- Proceed to step 3 below and Input Prescription Details
- If you select to just register the patient’s detail to the hub, this will be the end of the process for you and you will be able to find the patient under My Patients.
Step 3 – Input Prescription Details
- If you choose to go on to enter the prescription details you will get to a screen like the one below. You will first have to enter the prescription and prescriber information which includes:
- Prescription Serial Number
- Prescriber Medical Council Registration Number
- Prescribing Hospital
- Upload a scan of the prescription as well.
- At times the prescriber’s medical council number is not present on the prescription so it may be a good idea for you to ask patients for the prescriber details as soon as the prescription is taken in if the prescriber’s name is not legible.
- You can then search for the prescriber by name on the Irish medical council website (https://www.medicalcouncil.ie/).
- After you have entered the prescriber information you will then need to enter the prescription details
- You will need to enter the prescription date
- and then also search for the High Tech Medicine that was prescribed
- You should select the Drug name
- You will then Select the Strength
- Then, Select the appropriate dosage
- then, Select the quantity required per month and if there are any repeats.
- Once you have completed the above steps and click add the drug details will be added to the patient’s hi-tech hub profile and it will be available for you to order.
Please Note: You will need to make sure that your patients are aware in advance when their prescriptions will be expiring, as once a prescription has expired it is NOT possible to re-order a High Tech Medicine through the High Tech Hub for the patient.
Also once a prescription is expired, the prescription details will have to be re-entered every time a new prescription is presented. You can not just copy and re-order.
- If the prescription details have been registered already by the prescriber or by the High Tech Co-ordination Unit or previously by your pharmacy this will retrieve the prescription details for you automatically, now this is often not the case. You will get a result as below. (Please pardon the fact the serial numbers don’t match, it’s just for demonstration purposes)
From the screen above, you will then be able to order the items for the patient as needed, using the order button. We will discuss ordering High Tech Medicines later on.
Also note that when you have patients who you wish to re-order High Tech Medicines for this will be what the page looks like when you click on the patient’s name, from the My Patients Button on the High Tech Hub Homepage.
Ordering the High Tech Medicine from the listed supplier.
Now finally we have arrived at why we started this whole process, to be able to order a High Tech Medicine for the patient.
Once we have completed all the steps above you will have a page for the patient which looks something like the page below. Also, if you are to search for a patient already registered on your portal the screen you will see would look like something below.
- Now to order a High Tech Medicine you will need to click the order button next to the High Tech Medicine.
- Once you have the High Tech Medicine selected, you will be given the option to order the High Tech Medicine from your preferred supplier as shown below.
(TIP: This list is a bit tricky so be careful as it tends to list all the High Tech Medicines and strengths under that drug’s brand name and formulation even though you had inputted that information while putting in the prescription information.)
Once an order is made, it will either be accepted or rejected by the PCRS. In the case of a rejection, it will usually involve the PCRS believing that the High Tech Medicine order time is not appropriate .e.g the patient is getting an extra box of the High Tech Medicine in the same calendar/claim month.
High Tech Medicine is ordered and the PCRS and the Supplier have accepted the order
There are a number of other status which may be shown such as
|Pharmacy Refusal||If you were delivered the wrong drugs and reject the delivery|
|Delivered||A delivery that has been successfully accepted by your pharmacy|
|Awaiting Supplier Response||You placed an order and it hasn’t been accepted/rejected by the supplier yet|
|No Supplier||No preferred supplier|
|Accepted||The order has been accepted by the supplier and will be dispatched|
|Dispatched||The order has been dispatched by the supplier|
|Canceled||Pharmacy has canceled the order|
|PCRS Review||PCRS are currently reviewing your order approval request|
That’s all for this post. Thanks. For more information check out the PCRS FAQ and User Guide.