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Norway introduces electronic prescriptions

Doctors in Oslo will start to issue electronic prescriptions, and is the 13th county to implement the new technology since the first test project in 2010.

As of Tuesday, Oslo's population of 600,000 will be able to walk into a pharmacy with nothing but their ID to collect their medication, after their doctor mailed an electronic prescription to a central base.

This will make things easier and safer for both doctors and patients, says Anne-Lise Härter, department director of the Norwegian Directorate of Health. She says that the new system will help prevent medication errors and reduce the risk of prescription fraud.

Since the new technology was first introduced in 2010, a total of 4,4 million prescriptions have passed through the system.  The prescriptions are stored in a central database, so that patients can pick up their medication at any pharmacy that has introduced electronic receipts.

Although Härter explains that it may take some time before the system is installed at all doctors' offices and pharmacies, everybody will eventually have the new system, and will be able to communicate more efficiently.

It will also be easier for doctors to keep track of which medications each patient is on, what other doctors have prescribed, and what the patient has picked up at each pharmacy.

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