PRIME

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.

Why PRIME?

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?

For more information about the future state of PRIME, refer to the PRIME FAQ.

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.

UPDATE: After considering feedback from stakeholder engagement sessions held in August and September 2017, the Ministry determined that refinements to the PRIME solution and implementation plan are required, as is further consultation with affected PharmaNet users and organizations. As a result of this, the Ministry will seek to change the effective dates currently in the Information Management Regulation. The new dates are not yet known, but the work of PRIME is ongoing, and the new dates will not be pushed back significantly. The Ministry will continue with stakeholder engagement and the work required to bring PRIME into use in the near future.

The Ministry will inform all stakeholders of the new effective dates as soon as the change to the Information Management Regulation has been approved by Cabinet. We will be putting this forward for Cabinet consideration ahead of the current June 2018 date.

In 2017 and early 2018, the Ministry will be focusing on refining and finalizing the PRIME design and working with each organization to do the pre-work of site setup, site grouping, and the designation of site verifiers and provisioners.

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.

How can I stay informed?

Sign up to the PRIME distribution list to stay up to date on the latest project news. The PRIME Project team will use this list to distribute information about the project and its progress.