An alert does not mean that you are not allowed to prescribe or dispense a medicine, but it indicates that some clinical risk has been identified which you need to review and manage appropriately.
SafeScript does not instruct you on what to do or decide whether a medicine should or should not be prescribed to your patient. This remains your clinical decision to determine whether the medicines prescribed continue to be the safest and best option for your patient’s medical needs.
Should you decide that a medicine is no longer the safest treatment, you are reminded that good clinical practice involves ensuring that appropriate continuity of care is provided for your patient. Abruptly discharging the patient from your care or abruptly stopping treatment in patients who have been taking high-risk medicines over a long period of time may be contrary to patient safety. There may be implications to discontinuing some medicines too quickly. For example, sudden withdrawal of benzodiazepines may result in rebound insomnia or anxiety, or at worst, seizures.
Medical practitioners and pharmacists are also reminded of their responsibilities as part of their professional registration, contained within their code of conduct. It is important that all patients receive the same standard of care, remembering that anyone can develop a dependency on prescription medicines.
Clinicians are strongly encouraged to complete the comprehensive training provided as part of SafeScript implementation, which has a focus on enhancing clinical and counselling skills. When you identify a high-risk circumstance in SafeScript, this training will give you the confidence and skills to enable you to continue to provide safe and appropriate ongoing care to your patient. More information about the training available can be found at the SafeScript Training Hub.