Updated guidance for RNs prescribing in primary health and specialty teams and in community health settings
The documents guiding practice for RNs prescribing in primary health and specialty teams and RNs prescribing in community health have been updated to enable RNs to prescribe via phone consult.
The guideline for registered nurses prescribing in community health is available here
Preparation and guidance for employers and registered nurses prescribing primary health and specialty teams is available here
Both documents state that telehealth may be used by registered nurse prescribers using appropriate guidelines, and define telehealth as ‘the use of technology to facilitate safe prescribing’ (Medical Council of New Zealand, 2020).
Previous versions of the guidance documents defined telehealth as videoconferencing and therefore prevented the use of telephone consultations for RN prescribers. We acknowledge that videoconferencing is not accessible for some health consumers and the ability for RN prescribers to use the most appropriate technology for the situation is important for equitable access.
RN prescribers are responsible for ensuring that they are practicing in accordance with appropriate guidelines and have the knowledge and skills to prescribe safely. Considerations for RN prescribing via telehealth include:
- The RN prescriber’s knowledge, skill and professional accountability
- Organisation policy and processes
- Patient/whānau preference
- Legal requirements and prescribing best practice
- Security, privacy and technical issues.
RNs prescribing in primary health and specialty teams and in community health settings use advanced pharmacology knowledge and assessment skills to provide timely, appropriate and equitable access to health care. Enabling prescribing via appropriate telehealth technology will increase the positive impact of this workforce on the health of our communities.