Setting up and using NZePS

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Being set up for and using NZePS

The New Zealand electronic Prescription Service 'Getting Started' guide is written for general practices and pharmacies to enable a smooth transition to NZePS:

The guide includes:

  • NZePS controlled drugs – approval process, conditions and requirements
  • Support a clinical walkthrough at the practice of core NZePS functionality
  • Guide the practice administrator in incident prevention and efficient incident handling
  • Guide the practice’s IT technical support in ensuring NZePS technical requirements are met, and in efficient incident handling.

Almost all community pharmacies that are on the Connected Health Network connection are now connected to NZePS. New pharmacies will be automatically setup by their pharmacy vendor as soon as they have their digital signing certificate and Connected Health Network link established.

Community pharmacies will find having a scanner in the dispensary more efficient than manually entering the barcode details into the pharmacy management system. However, for those who don’t yet have a scanner, the barcode details can be manually entered so the prescription can be downloaded from the NZePS broker.


  • If all items on the prescription have been dispensed, the pharmacist will receive a message advising that the prescription is no longer available. If some of the items have been dispensed, the prescription can still be downloaded but only the items not already been dispensed can be dispensed.
  • A message saying the pharmacy system cannot ‘fetch’ the prescription, and quoting the code ‘BUS002’, means the system has successfully connected to NZePS but cannot find the electronic record matching the scanned or manually entered barcode. The pharmacist will need to dispense using the current method.
  • If the pharmacy has returned the partly dispensed prescription to the NZePS broker, the second pharmacy can download it and dispense the remaining items.  The patient will need a certified copy of the prescription with the previous dispensings shown.
  • In terms of repeats, if two or more pharmacies share a common database and share the same Entity ID, any of them could dispense the repeats. However, if two or more pharmacies have a shared database but each has their own Entity ID, the repeat can only be dispensed by the original pharmacy.

Compatibility of MediMap and 1Chart products with NZePS 

At this stage, neither MediMap and 1Chart products have full approval for connectivity to NZePS. MediMap is being trialled with NZePS at one site, with approval to add another site for trial testing.

The exemptions that MediMap and 1Chart have for digital alternatives to paper forms are specifically for age-related residential care (ARRC) services, as a replacement for electronic charting of medicines only.

Signed prescriptions will continue to be required until these products are integrated with the NZePS and the necessary compliance approvals and additional waivers are granted.

Prescription quality

Because NZePS enables prescriptions to be processed electronically, it is important for the prescription to be accurate, easy to understand, and standardised. As NZePS allows better communication between the prescriber and dispenser, both parties can agree on using consistent and easily understandable information on the prescriptions.

Pharmacists and prescribers have advised that any change to the prescription at the time of dispensing needs to be made clearly available to the prescriber next time they see the patient in question.  The system needs to flag any changes to the prescriber so they can easily see where the dispensing differs from what they last prescribed.  Over time, this will allow practices and pharmacists to reduce the time spent on correcting prescription anomalies such as out of date brands, quantity issues etc. This is seen as a priority enhancement.

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