What are the Consequences of Changing the Computer's Date to Forward-date Dispensings?

Confusion and Disruption to Integrated Systems

If a computer is re-dated, transactional services that require date synchronization within the wider electronic world will fail or be disrupted. Some enquiry/lookup service will continue to work depending on the certificate expiry dates.

For example, the special authority lookup system is limited by an annual certificate. If that is set to expire 3 weeks into the future, a lookup effectively done 4 weeks into the future will fail, but 2 weeks in the future would work. Contrast with the 5 min tolerance allowed for sending or receiving an electronic claim/reply. The date/times of the pharmacy system and the MOH payment system servers must synchronize or the file send/pickup fails.

The functionality around submission of prescription data to DHB repositories like Care Connect (TestSafe), HealthOne e.t.c. has some limited capability to cater for a reasonable number of forward dated items. However, if too many are done the queue becomes blocked causing a halt to ALL sending of Rxs until the forward date is reached. This can result in data taking weeks to get to the repository.

E-Prescribing has the same 5 minutes tolerance that online claiming does. It has not been designed to cater for community pharmacy system forward dating.  

In an integrated electronic world it is wise to avoid re-setting the date on any of your computers.  There is functionality to enable future processing for care facilities,  so that systems do not need to be forward-dated.

If your pharmacy regularly re-dates one or more computers to aid your workflow requirements, talk to us. Perhaps we can help avoid this.


A pharmacy in the Auckland area contacted Care Connect asking why their local hospital could not see any of their rxs for the past couple of weeks. It turned out that this was due to ever larger numbers of forward dated Rxs being queued in the Dispensary system which eventually blocked up all unsent earlier items as well.

When we talked to the pharmacy staff the forward dating problem was easily avoided by using the feature in prescription cycle processing that synchronized owe supply with the (future) cycle commencement date. The items can be processed and supplied in present time for the future so there was no need to re-date the computer.