9.5 Patient Records

General Policy Description

Patient information is stored on the PharmaNet Drug Information System (DIS) and PharmaCare Centralized Information System (PCIS). 

Policy Details

When a prescription is dispensed, the following patient information is recorded:

  • Name and address
  • Date of birth
  • Personal Health Number (PHN)
  • Adverse drug reactions
  • Drug allergies
  • Any clinical conditions the patient may have
  • Details of all prescription medications

Up to the most recent 14 months of patient medication history is available online from PharmaNet.

PharmaNet provides the pharmacist with a complete medication history for each patient, enabling more informed dispensing decisions. This history assists in detecting drug interactions and preventing adverse drug reactions.

The details of all a patient’s prescriptions stored on PharmaNet are available to any pharmacist in British Columbia and certain healthcare providers that have been granted access to PharmaNet, unless a patient protective word has been assigned restricting access.

For more information on access to patient records by pharmacists, refer to Section 9.3.

A patient may choose to restrict access to their medication history by assigning a protective word to limit access to their records.

For further information, refer to Section 9.6–Protective words.

The College of Pharmacists of British Columbia and a number of other provincial regulatory bodies have access to prescription data on PharmaNet, in order to monitor and regulate their respective professions.

For more information, refer to Section 9.3.

A patient may request a printed copy of their confidential and personal data (either the data stored on the local system, the data stored on PharmaNet, or both). A patient may make the request through any community pharmacy.

A patient may also request a copy of their local system or PharmaNet patient record from a practitioner with Community Health Practice Access to PharmaNet. The medical practice may print the local record but not the PharmaNet record which must be requested via PharmaNet.

Although the local system record may be printed at the community pharmacy, the PharmaNet patient record may not be printed as College of Pharmacists of BC (CPBC) policy does not permit community pharmacies to print the PharmaNet patient record.

Requests for PharmaNet data must be sent via PharmaNet to the CPBC using the Patient Access to Personal Data function (TPM transaction). The CPBC then mails the information directly to the patient.

The CPBC requires pharmacists/medical practices to validate the patient’s address and PHN on PharmaNet (TID transaction) and update the address (TPA transaction), if necessary, before requesting a mailing.

The PharmaNet information sent to a patient includes

  • Patient demographic and clinical information
  • Patient adverse reaction information
  • Patient medication history for the last fourteen months
  • A log of all persons who have accessed the patient’s information when no medication was dispensed

The medication history normally includes only medications from community and hospital out-patient pharmacies.

>> See the CPBC PharmaNet Patient Record website for further details.
>> Refer also to Section 9.3–Access by Patients.

 

Procedures for Pharmacists and Medical Practices

Any B.C. resident may request a printed copy of their confidential and personal data, whether it be for information stored on a pharmacy's local system or the data stored on PharmaNet. 

The local patient record may be printed at the pharmacy. 

Patients can request a copy of their current PharmaNet patient record (up to the most recent 14 months) through their community pharmacy at no charge. 

To process a patient's request for their PharmaNet record: 

  1. Positively identify the patient. 

    >> Refer to Section 9.1–Positive Identification of Patients for more details
     
  2. Validate the patient’s address and PHN on PharmaNet (TID transaction) and update the address (TPA transaction), if necessary, before requesting a mailing. 

    Validation of a patient’s identification and address is mandated by the College of Pharmacists of BC to protect patient privacy and ensure the profile is mailed to the correct address. 
     
  3. Send the request via PharmaNet using the Patient Access to Personal Data function (TPM). 

    Depending on your pharmacy software, this function may be labelled in the menu as “Request Profile Mailing.” Please contact your software vendor if you need assistance with the procedure. 

The request is automatically forwarded to the College of Pharmacists. The College will mail the information directly to the patient.

Tools and Resources