NHS Digital FHIR Medicines

This guidance is under active development by NHS Digital and content may be added or updated on a regular basis.

Prescribing and Dispensing Workflow

Prescribing and dispensing workflow consists of several transactions.

Transaction Description
Prescription Ordering Prescription Ordering The process of sending a prescription order requests to a pharmacy
Prescription Download and Dispensing Prescription Download and Dispensing The process of sending dispense notifications to EPS, these are responses to the prescription order requests
Prescription Claiming Prescription Claims The process of claim for dispensed medications
Prescription Management Prescription Management Interactions with EPS to manage the prescription workflows

The three workflow messages use a FHIR interaction style called FHIR Messaging and the messages are sent to a generic endpoint called $process-message. This style of interaction is like HL7 v2 messages such as RDE_O01 and HL7 v3 messages used in the previous version of EPS. Details on the relationships with the previous version of EPS can be found here HL7 v3 and FHIR Interactions

A more detailed description of the workflow is described below:


  • The prescription-order needs to be signed. This process for signing is described in the Digital signatures section of the EPS API
  • The Prescribing System sends the prescription-order message EPS which will then deliver the prescription to the Dispensing System.
  • The Pharmacist issues the medication and sends a dispense-notification message to EPS. Multiple dispense-notification messages may be sent to support the recording of partial dispensing (when the full quantity of requested medication is not available for dispensing in one event).
  • Once dispensing events against the prescription have been completed, the dispensing system will then issue a reimbursement claim message to EPS.
  • EPS will forward the claim to NHS BSA along with the original signed prescription-order.
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