Protective Word for PharmaNet Record

You can attach a protective word to your PharmaNet record. The protective word acts as a lock. Only a practitioner with the protective word can view or update your record.

The simplest way to apply a protective word is at the pharmacy counter. Be sure to bring identification. You must be 19 or older to apply at the pharmacy. If you can’t get to a pharmacy, or are under 19, mail an application to Health Insurance BC (HIBC).

You cannot restrict access to just one part of your record (i.e. you cannot prevent people from viewing certain kinds of prescriptions in your medication history). Your entire record is either locked or not.

In some circumstances, a person have a protective word attached to another person’s PharmaNet record.

Note: Access to PharmaNet is strictly controlled. Health care professionals must apply for access and sign confidentiality undertakings. Normally, a health care professional can view a patient’s demographic (name, date of birth) and medication information. They cannot view Fair PharmaCare coverage information, such deductible and how much has been met. See PharmaNet to find out more.


Have you forgotten your protective word? 

HIBC will have to remove your protective word. You will then attach a protective word as if for the first time.


Your protective word must contain:

  • 6 to 8 characters (no spaces)
  • Letters and numbers only (no special characters such as # or &)
  • At least two letters
  • At least two numbers

Examples: PA6729BC, 90PAMA17, FOTO2609

Write down and store your protective word in a safe place.

 

Attach a protective word

To your own record

Option 1—In person at  the pharmacy counter (if you are 19 or over)

  1. Show the pharmacist the accepted  ID.
  2. Create a protective word that meets the rules.
  3. Tell the pharmacist your protective word.

The pharmacist will apply the protective word to your record. It will take effect immediately.

Option 2—By mail (all ages)

  1. Complete and sign the Application to Restrict Access to My Own PharmaNet RecordHLTH 5461 (PDF)​.
  2. Photocopy accepted ID
  3. Mail completed application and photocopies of ID to HIBC (address on form).
  4. HIBC will send you a letter either approving your request or asking for more information. If your application is approved, the letter will contain an access code.
  5. Create a protective word that meets the rules below.
  6. Call the number given in the letter and tell the representative your
  • name and Personal Health Number (on your BC Services Card)
  • access code (in the letter from HIBC)
  • protective word

The representative will apply the protective word to your record. It will take effect immediately.

Note: If you are under 19 years old, you must apply this way.

On another person’s record

If you have the legal authority to make decisions for another person, you can add a protective word to their record.

  1. Complete the Application to Restrict Access to Another Person's PharmaNet RecordHLTH 5462 (PDF).
  2. Photocopy accepted ID for both you and the other person.
  3. Photocopy documents that demonstrate you have the legal authority to make decisions on the other person’s behalf.
  4. Mail completed application and photocopies of ID and legal authority documents to HIBC (address on form).
  5. HIBC will send you a letter either approving your request or asking for more information. If your application is approved, the letter will contain an access code.
  6. Create a protective word that meets the rules below.
  7. Call the number given in the letter and tell the representative: 
  • your name
  • the other person’s name and Personal Health Number (on BC Services Card)
  • the access code (in the letter from HIBC)
  • the protective word

The representative will apply the protective word to the person's record. It will take effect immediately.

On your own record

Option 1—At a pharmacy (if you are 19 or older)

The easiest and quickest way to change the protective word on your record is at the pharmacy.

  1. Create a new protective word that meets the rules below.
  2. Show the pharmacist your accepted ID
  3. Tell the pharmacist both your current protective word and the new protective word.

The pharmacist will update your record with the new protective word. The change is effective immediately.

Note: You can apply to change a protective word only once in a 24-hour period.

Option 2—Apply by mail (everyone)

If you cannot get to a pharmacy:

  1. Complete the HLTH 5461 - Application to Restrict Access to My Own PharmaNet Record (PDF). Check the box “Replace the protective word currently on my PharmaNet record.”
  2. Photocopy accepted ID
  3. Mail the completed form and photocopies of ID to HIBC (address on form)
  4. HIBC will review your application and send you a letter approving your request or asking for more information. If your application is approved, the letter will contain an access code.
  5. Create a protective word that meets the rules below.
  6. Call the number given in the letter and provide:
  • your name and Personal Health Number (from your BC Services Card)
  • the access code (in the letter from HIBC)
  • the new protective word you have created

The representative will apply the new protective word to your record. It will take effect immediately.

On another person’s record

To change the protective word on another person’s record:

  1. Complete the HLTH 5462 - Application to Restrict Access to Another Person's PharmaNet Record (PDF). Check the box “Replace the protective word currently attached to the PharmaNet record of the person named in Section 1.” 
  2. Photocopy accepted ID for both you and the other person.
  3. Photocopy documents that show you have the legal authority to make decisions on the other person’s behalf.
  4. Mail the form and photocopies to HIBC (address on form).
  5. HIBC will review your application and send you a letter approving your request or asking for more information. If your application is approved, the letter will contain an access code.
  6. Create a protective word that meets the rules below.
  7. Call the number given in the letter and provide: 
  • your name
  • the other person’s name and Personal Health Number (on their BC Services Card)
  • the access code (in the letter from HIBC)
  • the new protective word you have created

The representative will apply the new protective word to their record. It will take effect immediately.

Anyone who wants to see your record must enter your protective word into PharmaNet.

It may be convenient for you to allow your pharmacist or other health care professional to store your protective word so they do not need to contact you each time they access your record. They are not allowed to store your protective word unless you consent. You can consent in person or over the telephone, or in an email. A form is not required.

They must only store the protective word inside the local software system they use to access PharmaNet. The software stores the word in encrypted form.

 

Remove a protective word

From your own record

Option 1 —At a pharmacy (if you are 19 or older)

  1. Show the pharmacist your accepted ID
  2. Ask the pharmacist to call HIBC to remove your protective word.

The removal is effective immediately.

Option 2—By mail (everyone)

  1. Complete an Application to Restrict Access to My Own PharmaNet RecordHLTH 5461 (PDF)​. Check the box “Remove the protective word to revoke the restriction I placed on my PharmaNet record."
  2. Photocopy accepted ID. 
  3. Mail in the completed application and photocopies of ID to HIBC (address on form).
  4. HIBC will send you a letter either approving your request or asking for more information. If your application is approved, the letter will contain an access code.
  5. Call the number given in the letter and tell the representative
  • your name and Personal Health Number (from your BC Services Card)
  • the access code (in the letter from HIBC)

The representative will remove the protective word. The removal is effective immediately.

Note: If you are under 19 years old, you must submit an application by mail.

From another person’s record 

To remove a protective word that you placed on another person’s record, you must mail in an application.

  1. Complete an Application to Restrict Access to Another Person's PharmaNet RecordHLTH 5462 (PDF). Check the box “Remove the protective word to revoke the restriction I placed on the PharmaNet record of the person named in Section 1.”
  2. Photocopy accepted ID for both you and the other person.
  3. Photocopy documents that demonstrate you have the legal authority to make decisions on the other person’s behalf. 
  4. Send the completed form and photocopies to HIBC (address on form).
  5. HIBC will send you a letter approving your request or asking for more information. If your application is approved, the letter will contain an access code.
  6. Call the number given in the letter and tell the representative: 
  • your name 
  • the other person’s name and Personal Health Number (on their BC Services Card)
  • the access code (in the letter from HIBC)

The representative will remove the protective word from the other person’s record. The removal is effective immediately.

If you are unconscious or otherwise unable to provide your protective word, your health care professionals and their designates may have HIBC remove the word if they determine that access to your PharmaNet profile is necessary for safe and effective treatment.

If your protective word is removed in an emergency, HIBC will let you know. You can then attach a new protective word to your record.

ID must be valid (not expired). Photo must have been taken within 5 years.

If applying by mail, send photocopies. Do not send originals. 

Option 1

BC Services Card with photo

  • Photocopy both sides of the card

Option 2

  • BC Services Card without photo, OR
  • BC CareCard

AND

One of the following pieces of government-issued photo ID:

  • Canadian or U.S. driver’s licence, learner’s licence or enhanced driver’s licence
  • BC Identification (BCID) card or Enhanced Identification Card
  • Passport (Canadian or other)
  • U.S. Passport Card
  • Canadian citizenship certificate
  • Canadian Permanent Resident Card
  • Canadian Forces identification
  • Secure Certificate of Indian Status Card (Must be new secure version issued after 2009)
  • Any other credential approved by the Chief Information Officer for the Province of British Columbia

 

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