In June 2015, the Ministry of Health enacted the Information Management Regulation under the Pharmaceutical Services Act. This regulation introduced new requirements for how access to PharmaNet is granted and managed.
To implement the changes legislated by the Information Management Regulation and required by government policy and standards, the Ministry of Health has launched the PharmaNet Revisions for Information Management Enhancement (PRIME) Project.
The purpose of PRIME is to design and implement a solution for PharmaNet user management that
- provides access to PharmaNet information for patient care
- satisfies the requirements of the Information Management Regulation, government policy and best practice,
- standardizes processes across the province, and
- ensures that all access is transparent and accountable.
Since its launch in 1995, PharmaNet has transformed into an integral clinical tool for users across the healthcare sector. PharmaNet is used in community and hospital pharmacies, emergency departments, doctors’ offices, hospitals, remote practices, and in other clinical settings to provide information to practitioners for patient care. The transformation of PharmaNet has also seen a dispersal of accountability for user management. Each user group and organization has different access criteria, processes, and monitoring practices.
PharmaNet contains information about almost all B.C. residents and the medical practitioners who serve them. Under the Pharmaceutical Services Act, the Ministry is responsible for all information recorded In PharmaNet, how it is accessed, and how it is used.
The Information Management Regulation formalizes the Ministry of Health as the single authority for PharmaNet. As such, PharmaNet user management will be centralized with the Ministry.
What will change?
The PRIME solution is in the earliest stages of development. The PRIME project team is currently determining business and solution requirements, while consulting with stakeholders.
A detailed solution concept will be developed and shared with stakeholders in late summer or fall 2017. At its core, this solution will serve to introduce the Ministry of Health as the body that grants access to PharmaNet and ensures access monitoring.
When will PRIME be implemented?
The Information Management Regulation introduces two key dates:
- June 1, 2018: the date that all new applicants requesting access to PharmaNet must use the new PRIME solution and be granted access by the Ministry of Health.
- June 1, 2021: the date by which all existing PharmaNet users (those whose access was grandfathered on June 1, 2018) must be re-enrolled using the Ministry PRIME solution. Existing users will be re-enrolled gradually between 2018 and 2021 to reduce disruption.
Incremental releases will occur throughout the life of the project to introduce additional functionality.
What if I have questions?
More information will be posted as the PRIME solution is developed and as testing and implementation plans are established. The PRIME project team will continue to engage with stakeholders throughout the life of the project.
Questions or concerns about PRIME can be directed to PRIME@gov.bc.ca.