Advanced Electronic Signatures

The legal electronic signing solution

An Advanced Electronic Signature (AES) uniquely identifies you, the signer, and protects every aspect of the document you sign. Scriptabl is the first legal provider of this service to the medical sector in South Africa.

Scriptabl provides powerful API integration with your existing system to enable you to create, sign, send and store documents legally in electronic format without the need to follow up with physical counterparts. This makes Scriptabl essential in any sector in need of stringent electronic authentication and security.

The power of an AES

An AES solves the problem of secure personal identification experienced by the digital market. It is not a digital handwritten signature—no handwriting is involved.

Advanced Electronic Signature Electronic Signature Handwritten Signature
Identifies you alone – Uniquely identifies and links the signer (e.g. a doctor or lawyer)
Used by you alone – The private key used to create the electronic signature is under the sole control of the signatory
Intelligent and vigilant –Scriptabl will detect and display any changes to the signature or the texts signed
Accredited – Relies on the provision of the signing software by a legally accredited third party*.

* LawTrust, one of only two entities accredited to provide AES in South Africa, performs this trusted role for all Scriptabl electronic signatures.

A legal alternative to a signed physical document

Scriptabl is legally compliant

A legal alternative to a signed physical document, Scriptabl enables the signing of electronic scripts by using advanced electronic signatures (AES).

An AES, issued by a provider that is independently accredited, locks the signature and the text of the document so that any changes are immediately detectable. It also identifies the signatory.

By using AES, Scriptabl mitigate against the risk of fraud, which is easily possible with conventional paper-based systems and electronic scripting systems that do not use AES.

The ease of storage and administration of electronic scripts for long periods is far superior to what can be achieved in paper and text.

Current legislation

The law requires that any electronic record (such as an electronic script which an authorised prescriber must sign by law) may only be signed using an AES.

The AES provided by Scriptabl is issued in compliance with the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, 2002 (ECT Act) and the Medicines and Related Substances Act, 1965 (Medicines Act). Scriptabl also enables compliance with Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013 (PoPIA) by safeguarding the confidentiality and integrity of electronic scripts.

The Medicines Act and Regulations require that a doctor or vet follow up an electronically-communicated script (such as an email or fax) within seven days with an original signed script, which the pharmacist must retain. An electronically-created script avoids this requirement if it is signed using an AES, as it is, by definition, the original.

Creating an Advanced Electronic Signature

In order to access the Scriptabl system for document creation, signing, sending, receiving and storage, an individual must have an AES. An AES is granted by Scriptabl to enrolled members. This involves a 3-step verification and vetting process:

1. Registration

The signer—e.g. the doctor, veterinarian, pharmacist, lawyer or government official—registers with Scriptabl securely online.

2. Verification

A Scriptabl representative meets the signer in person to verify all submitted details, e.g. identity and professional qualifications.

3. AES Creation

Scriptabl creates a unique AES linked to the signer, enabling them to electronically sign documents created using its secure system.