UZ Gent processes digital prescriptions and medication reservations with Workflower


When electronic drug prescription was launched in Belgium in 2018, the University Hospital of Ghent’s hospital pharmacy deployed a Workflower application to retrieve and process prescriptions in Recip-e*. Very quickly, the procedure was running smoothly. The hospital decided to take the application another step forward: when prescribed drugs are out of stock, they can now be reserved with the push of a button. Everything is traceable, from order to delivery.

When the medication is available:

  • Upon the patient’s arrival at the hospital pharmacy, the pharmacist scans the barcode of the ‘proof of electronic prescription’ to retrieve the prescription in Recip-e. Alternatively, the pharmacist can use the patient’s ID card to check which prescriptions are active in Recip-e, and select the one needed.
  • If the medication is in stock, the pharmacist hands it to the patient, and can print a label with the instructions for the patient if desired.
  • The pharmacist confirms in the Workflower application that the patient has received the medication, ensuring that the electronic prescription is correctly processed and archived in Recip-e.
  • Workflower keeps a record for each patient who visits the hospital pharmacy. The pharmacist can thus easily retrieve information about previous distributions of medications to the patient in question.

What happens if the medication is not available?

  •  If the medication is not available in the pharmacy, and therefore cannot be dispensed to the patient, the pharmacist can begin the reservation process with the push of a button.
  • If the medication must be prepared, the reservation will be forwarded to the pharmacy production unit’s work list. If it concerns specialty medication that is not in stock, the request goes to the order department’s work list.
  • As soon as the preparation is ready or the reserved speciality medication has been delivered, the Workflower application indicates where the reserved product can be collected (cupboard, refrigerator, freezer).
  • Optionally, you can extend the application with the ability to send (automated) notifications to patients to let them know that the medication is available.

From the MyHealth platform, patients can also start the reservation process themselves, by indicating the pharmacy where they want to pick up their medication. If that is UZ Gent’s pharmacy, the data is pulled into the Workflower application and the reservation process is automatically initiated.

“Because of the time savings and more efficient work process, we experience greater satisfaction from patients and pharmacy staff alike.”
Sarah Mertens, Pharmacist, Hospital Pharmacy UZ Gent

Advantages of the reservation module:

  • Everything is traceable, from order to delivery.
  • There is smooth communication within the pharmacy: you know the status of a reservation at any time (e.g. waiting to be prepared, being prepared, ready for collection, collected, etc.) and you can see which employee has taken which step. In the event of problems or questions, this can help save a lot of time.
  • When a patient comes to the pharmacy and their e-ID card is read, you can immediately see which medication is reserved and at which location it has been stored.
  • The overview list shows which reserved medications are still available, and since when. On a regular basis, you can use this list to check why something has not yet been picked up (stop therapy, death, etc.).

“It was pleasant working with Amaron for the development of the reservation module. The various steps in the development were discussed in regular digital consultations. Each point could immediately be assigned an action taker, deadline and status, and the progress was transparent to everyone.”
Hospital Pharmacy team UZ Gent

Want to know more about the digital workflow to process medication prescriptions and reservations?

*What is Recip-e?

Recip-e is the system that allows the delivery of electronic prescriptions in healthcare. It is part of Belgium’s federal e-health plan.

Recip-e allows different prescribers (doctors, dentists, midwives, etc.) to send prescriptions electronically and securely to a server. There, they are encrypted and stored until used by the patient with their healthcare provider (pharmacist, physiotherapist, nurse, etc.). They are sent and collected using specific software on which Recip-e is installed. Each electronic prescription comes with a unique identification, allowing the healthcare provider to process the prescription.