Community Health Practice Access to PharmaNet

Healthcare professionals needing new PharmaNet access in a private community health practice must apply to the Ministry of Health by enrolling in PRIME.

Private community health practices needing to set up new access to PharmaNet must apply to the Ministry by completing a site registration. 

These are two separate processes: practitioner enrolment and site registration.

You do not need to be a PharmaNet user to register a site in PRIME, but you do need to have legal authority to sign the Organization Agreement for PharmaNet Use on behalf of the organization.

If you already use PharmaNet in a private community health practice and do not need remote access, or new access, or to update information, you do not need to enrol in PRIME at this time. If you are retiring or for other reasons want to end your access to PharmaNet, please contact PRIMESupport@gov.bc.ca.

PharmaNet users in private community health practices enrol in PRIME to:

  • Access PharmaNet for the first time
  • Renew access (if they had access previously but do not now)
  • Access PharmaNet from a new community health practice
  • Update contact information
  • Access PharmaNet remotely (e.g., from home)
    (Currently available for physicians and nurse practitioners in private community health practices only, and not their on-behalf-of users. The practice must be registered and approved for remote access.)

The following practitioners may use PRIME to request access to PharmaNet at private community practice locations:

  • Physicians licensed by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC
  • Nurse practitioners licensed by the BC College of Nurses and Midwives
  • Pharmacists licensed by the College of Pharmacists of BC, who are working in non-pharmacy community practice settings
  • Individuals accessing PharmaNet on behalf of any of the above (e.g., medical office assistants, licensed professional nurses, registered nurses)

Physicians, nurse practitioners and pharmacists must be:

  • Practicing at community practices in British Columbia;
  • Licensed to provide direct patient care requiring PharmaNet in that setting; and
  • In good standing with their respective colleges.

To enrol in PRIME you will need:

  • To set up a mobile BC Services Card on a mobile device (PRIME only collects your name, address and birthdate from the card)
  • Your college licence information (if applicable)
  • The email for the person in your organization/practice who sets up PharmaNet accounts (you will provide this email in PRIME so they can be notified of your approval to access PharmaNet)

Enrolment steps

After you have set up a mobile BC Services Card and have the email address of the person in your organization/practice who sets up PharmaNet accounts:

  1. Log on to PRIME with your mobile BC Services Card, fill in the fields, and agree to the Terms of Access that apply to you (regulated user or on-behalf-of user).
  2. Most enrolments are processed immediately, but if your enrolment needs further review by the Ministry of Health, you may be contacted for information.
  3. Once your enrolment is approved: within PRIME, enter the email of the person in your organization who sets up PharmaNet accounts so they can be notified.

If you are not eligible for a mobile BC Services Card, contact PRIMESupport@gov.bc.ca.

How to enrol in PRIME

A tutorial for enrolling in PRIME.

Enrol in PRIME

A private community health practice must register for PharmaNet access in PRIME when:

  • The practice requires new PharmaNet access
  • The practice needs to update its information
  • The practice wants to add or change a PharmaNet software vendor
  • The practice has practitioners requesting remote access
Note: A “site” is a combination of the practice's physical location and PharmaNet software vendor. If a practice uses the PharmaNet application of more than one vendor, it has more than one site; each must be registered separately.

The “organization” is the legal entity responsible for the site.

How to register a site in PRIME

A tutorial for registering a site in PRIME.

Registration steps

1. Contract a PharmaNet software vendor

An organization must contract an approved PharmaNet software vendor before registering a site.

  • Exelleris: 1-866-728-4777
  • iClinic Inc.: 604-566-9862
  • Medinet: 1-800-737-3771
  • Plexia Electronic Medical Systems Inc.: 604-269-3733
  • CareConnect: careconnect@phsa.ca

Note: Not all PharmaNet software vendors are offering remote access at this time. Please confirm with the vendor before registering for remote access.

2. Identify the site's Signing Authority

Once a vendor is contracted, the site should identify a Signing Authority to register the site in PRIME. This person

  • Can legally bind the organization to the terms of site registration and the Organization Agreement for PharmaNet Use
  • Does not need to be a PharmaNet user, member of a regulated health profession, or providing direct patient care at the site
  • Will sign Organization Agreement for PharmaNet Access, so must be able to legally bind the organization to the agreement terms (some organizations require additional signatures)

To register the site, the Signing Authority will need

  • The site’s business licence
  • The organization name exactly as it appears on the BC Corporate Registry
  • The organization’s mailing address
  • The site’s normal operating hours
  • The name of the contracted PharmaNet software provider
  • The name, address, phone number and email of the site’s PharmaNet Administrator, Privacy Officer, and Technical Support Contact of the site. (These may all be the same as the Signing Authority. See Site Roles below for role descriptions.)
  • Names of physicians or nurse practitioners who will access PharmaNet remotely, and the addresses where they will do so (e.g., their home addresses)

After providing the required information, the Signing Authority will sign the Organization Agreement for PharmaNet Access.

Note: If there is an organizational requirement for a second person or more to sign the agreement, application of a seal, or other requirements that cannot be completed online, the Signing Authority must ensure that all such requirements are met before any user accesses PharmaNet at the site.

3. Signing Authority and vendor are notified

The Signing Authority and the site’s PharmaNet software vendor are notified when the site registration is complete. The vendor arranges for software to be installed and sets up access accounts at the registered site for all users approved for PharmaNet access.


Site Roles

Signing Authority

  • Organization representative authorized to submit the site request on the organization’s behalf
  • Designated as responsible for PharmaNet activities at the location being set up for PharmaNet access (site)
  • Normally signs the Organization Agreement for PharmaNet Use.  If not, ensures the agreement is appropriately signed and incorporated into the organization information in PRIME
  • Does not need to be a PharmaNet user, member of a regulated health profession, or providing direct patient care at the site

PharmaNet Administrator

  • Directly sets up individual PharmaNet access accounts at a site or has the authority to request accounts from the site's PharmaNet software vendor
  • This person may be, for example, the site’s office administrator, HR lead, medical office assistant (MOA), or a practitioner
  • In some cases, this function may be filled by the PharmaNet software vendor
  • May be the same as the Signing Authority

Privacy Officer

  • Responsible for the site’s adherence to applicable privacy and security legislation
  • Will be asked to help with investigations in the event of a security breach or concerns with how PharmaNet data is accessed or used at the site
  • May be the same as the Signing Authority and/or PharmaNet Administrator

Technical Support Contact

  • May be contacted in the event of technology-related issues (e.g., malware)
  • Should be familiar with the PharmaNet software application, general security mechanisms such as firewalls and anti-virus measures, and the details of the network structure or Internet connections in use at the site
  • Should be able to quickly provide a network diagram of the site, including peripherals, wireless access points, connected devices, and all applications using Internet router(s)
  • Not likely to be the site’s PharmaNet software vendor, unless that vendor is familiar with the full range of hardware and software in use at the site
  • May be the same as the Signing Authority, the PharmaNet Administrator, or the Privacy Officer (however, they must possess the technical skill and understanding to answer complex network- and application-related questions)

Register a site in PRIME

If your site is owned and operated by a health authority (HA), but currently accessing PharmaNet under a ComPAP agreement, please do NOT register the site at this time. A site registration process for HA-owned community-based practice sites is being developed. This includes First Nations Health Authority–owned and/or operated sites.

Practitioners working at these sites can enrol in PRIME. Select “health authority” as your care setting (or "community practice" if the site is FNHA-operated). If in doubt, contact PRIMESupport@gov.bc.ca.

The option to access PharmaNet from outside a community health practice site (e.g., from home) has been developed in tandem with PRIME. Remote access is only available for physicians and nurse practitioners in private community health practices (not health authority sites or pharmacies).

Remote access is explicitly prohibited under the PharmaNet agreements that practitioners have already signed (ComPAP and MPAP). Enrolling in PRIME replaces the ComPAP and MPAP agreements with the new user terms of access, which permit remote access under specific conditions.

Before an individual may access PharmNet remotely, their organization has to register the site using the process outlined above.

Once the site is registered, each physician or nurse practitioner needing remote access enrols in PRIME. If you provide care to patients in multiple private practices, each practice must be registered and using a vendor with an approved remote access mechanism.

Remote access is not currently offered to pharmacists.

If you need remote access to PharmaNet, whether for a new community practice or for a practice that already has PharmaNet access, talk to your PharmaNet software vendor first to make sure they offer this service.

Anyone accessing PharmaNet on your behalf must also enrol in PRIME, but if you are accessing PharmaNet remotely, you must do so yourself. Remote access, or access on behalf of a practitioner providing care remotely, outside the PharmaNet physical location, is not permitted.

Note: Remote access can only be used to provide care to patients through the private community practice settings. It cannot be used for patients in hospitals or other health authority facilities, or for a different community practice site

PharmaNet is a secure network linking community pharmacies and other authorized clinical users in British Columbia. It records all medication dispensed in community pharmacies and gives healthcare providers controlled access to their clients' dispensing history. It protects against dangerous medication interactions, prescription fraud and drug abuse. Connection is provided by software vendors. Their software, installed at a single community health practice, is called a site. Practices using more than one vendor for PharmaNet access have more than one site.

 

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