Pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, or those accessing PharmaNet on behalf of a pharmacist: If you submitted an enrolment in PRIME, you have met the requirement to apply by April 30, 2022, even if you have not yet been approved or issued a GPID. You will hear from PRIME Support or PRIME when it is time to complete an enrolment that is now under review.
Healthcare professionals must be approved by the Ministry of Health to use PharmaNet to care for patients. You request approval by enrolling in PRIME, an online application. Healthcare sites also register in PRIME. Currently, only private community health practices register as sites.
There are two separate processes: user enrolment and site registration. Both require the BC Services Card app.
Once the Ministry approves your PRIME enrolment, an administrator in your workplace or a PharmaNet software vendor sets up your access account (PRIME does not create PharmaNet access accounts).
Independent users who have enrolled in PRIME do not need to re-enrol, except for pharmacy technicians, nurses (RNs, RPNs, and LPNs) and midwives who enrolled before February 1, 2022. They must re-enrol.
Who enrols in PRIME
When to enrol in PRIME
All PharmaNet users must enrol in PRIME in 2022 and/or 2023.
If you are new to work where you will use PharmaNet, enrol now. Enrolment dates don't apply, but you may have to return to PRIME at a future date.
Independent users: PRIME automatically uploads your name as it appears on your BC Services Card. If your regulatory college provides a different name to the Ministry of Health, please use the Preferred Name fields to enter the one your college sent, exactly as they sent it (including punctuation) and ensure the names are in the correct fields (first name, middle name, last name). This will prevent delays with your PRIME enrolment. If you are unsure which name you should enter, please contact your college to confirm.
To enrol in PRIME, you need:
- The BC Services Card app set up on a mobile device (phone or tablet). If you cannot get a BC Services Card, or are unable to access the app, see Getting the BC Services Card app
- Your professional health college licence, if applicable
- The email address for the person in your workplace who sets up PharmaNet accounts (“PharmaNet administrator”)
Once your enrolment is approved, you must read and accept the PharmaNet user terms of access presented to you. Read the terms carefully and make sure you can comply with each section.
After you accept the terms of access, PRIME assigns you a global PharmaNet ID (GPID). This permanent identifier will be attached to all of your PharmaNet transactions.
You will then enter your PharmaNet administrator’s email address and share your approval notification, with a link to your GPID, with them. Note that while the link to your GPID expires 10 days from the time you share the notification, you can return to PRIME and share your GPID at any time.
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If you are a physician or nurse practitioner in a private community health practice (only) who needs remote access to PharmaNet (e.g., from home), you can request this in PRIME. The private community health practice you work for must be registered in PRIME. Note you must only access PharmaNet if you are physically in B.C.
The BC Services Card app is required to enrol in PRIME
To enrol in PRIME, you must set up the BC Services Card app on a mobile device (phone or tablet).
The BC Services Card app lets you prove who you are online. PRIME only collects your name, birthdate and address from the app, to identify you. This use is completely separate from your PHN and healthcare information.
Using the BC Services Card app ensures that only you can access your account in PRIME and no one else – so both patient information and your information are in the right hands.
If you share a mobile device, you may want to remove or delete the app when you have completed enrolment in PRIME. Only one BC Services Card can be added to the app per device.
I don’t have a mobile device
You can use the BC Services Card app on a shared mobile device. Just remember to remove the app from the device, or delete your info from the app, once you are finished enrolling in PRIME (or renewing your enrolment, once a year).
I don’t have wireless Internet
You can use the Wi-Fi available at your workplace to enrol in PRIME, or any secure Wi-Fi or cellular connection.
If you cannot get access to a wireless Internet connection, please contact PRIMESupport@gov.bc.ca to discuss alternatives.
I don’t have a BC Services Card
If you are working temporarily in B.C. and cannot get a BC Services Card, please contact
Changes to your PRIME profile
You must return to PRIME to update your information if these things change:
- workplace or care setting (where you will access PharmaNet)
- organization type (where you will access PharmaNet)
- the type of access you need (e.g., dispensing at a pharmacy, clinical care in a non-dispensing setting)
- your address, phone number or email
- your legal or preferred name
- your college licence type or renewal date
If you do not require PharmaNet for 90 days or more, you must record the start and end dates of your inactivity under the Absence Management tab in PRIME. If you need to end your access to PharmaNet, this can be done in PRIME. Be sure to let your PharmaNet administrator know.
You will also need to return to PRIME once a year to renew your enrolment, update your information if needed, and sign the terms of access again.
PRIME protects patient and practitioner information. Only users authorized by the Ministry of Health can use PharmaNet to deliver care.
PRIME protects you as a PharmaNet user. PRIME assigns you a unique global PharmaNet ID code (GPID). The GPID is linked to every transaction you make in PharmaNet. No one else can enter transactions under your GPID.
Access to PharmaNet is for professionals who care for patients as a key job duty. Your employer decides whether you need direct access to PharmaNet (they may instead prefer you consult medication records added to a patient’s chart). Access to PharmaNet is granted through PRIME according to legislation and Ministry of Health policy.
Before PRIME, there were several ways to access PharmaNet across the health sector. To align with regulatory requirements and to better protect PharmaNet and the information in it, the Province implemented PRIME as a single-user enrolment system for all PharmaNet users across the health sector.
- Keeps PharmaNet patient and practitioner information secure
- Improves how PharmaNet access is monitored, audited, and tracked in case of a breach or misuse of PharmaNet information
- Ensures that every PharmaNet user has been approved by the Ministry of Health, the owner of PharmaNet
- Eliminates administrative paperwork and recordkeeping associated with PharmaNet access, which has traditionally fallen to healthcare settings
- Is required by law, enshrined in B.C.’s Information Management Regulation
In 2015, Information Management Regulation (IMR) under the Pharmaceutical Services Act was brought into effect. The IMR is intended to improve user management for PharmaNet and address security and privacy concerns arising from security breaches and audit reports on PharmaNet. The Regulation requires that the Ministry of Health be solely responsible for granting access and determining privileges for PharmaNet, on an individual basis.
PRIME meets the requirements of the IMR, but it has also been designed to provide a quick, streamlined, uniform way for all PharmaNet users to request Ministry approval for PharmaNet access. Hundreds of healthcare professionals, from pharmacists, to practicing physicians and nurse providers, to medical office assistants, to system administrators, have participated in the development of PRIME, allowing for continuous, responsive improvements.
PRIME contributes to the ongoing evolution of the Ministry of Health's Digital Health Initiative to make more and better healthcare information available online. PRIME's secure online identity authentication for registration is in line with the Ministry's overall strategy for access to online health services and information.
PRIME provides better security for patient and providers data within PharmaNet.
"PRIME" was originally an acronym for the PharmaNet Revisions for the Information Management Enhancement project, but now refers to the system.
The terms of access accepted in PRIME supersede previous paper PharmaNet access agreements (ComPAP, MPAP) and confidentiality undertakings (HAP, EDAP).
To help staff enrol in PRIME, you will need to identify a PharmaNet administrator in your area who either creates PharmaNet accounts for staff, or communicates with the PharmaNet software vendor. Your staff will need this person's email address when they enrol in PRIME.
How to help your staff:
- Give or share PRIME Quick Reference Guide (PDF, 344KB). You can enter your PharmaNet administrator’s email before sharing it
- Support your staff to set up their BC Services Card app, which is required to use PRIME. Those without a BC Services Card should contact PRIMESupport@gov.bc.ca
- Show them the instructional PRIME enrolment video
- Share PRIME Site Registration Quick Reference Guide (PDF, 175 KB) for instructions on how to register a site in PRIME
Questions? Contact PRIME at PRIMESupport@gov.bc.ca or 1-844-397-7463.