PharmaNet Access

Community Health Practice Access

The Community Health Practice Access to PharmaNet database is available to College registrants as a natural extension of the emergency room access and pilot medical practice access programs. Access to this important clinical information by a treating physician in the general office setting assists in the provision of appropriate clinical care.

A review of PharmaNet at the time a prescription is issued is considered a best practice for opioid therapy. PharmaNet review is mandatory in walk-in clinics and methadone clinics. With electronic prescribing and dispensing, access to the patient's current prescription profile is becoming a part of everyday practice in all clinical settings.

Physicians wanting to access the PharmaNet database must do so in a location where they ordinarily practise medicine. Physicians are not permitted to access PharmaNet at their home office and/or by wireless access. PharmaNet may only be accessed by a physician or by an individual authorized to have access on the physician's behalf. The access request must be directly related to the care of a specific patient by that physician, and persons authorized by a physician to access PharmaNet must do so under the direct supervision of the physician.

Physicians are required to sign an agreement before being granted access to the PharmaNet database. This agreement is established between the government and the individual physician; the College is not a party to that process.

Patient confidentiality

Physicians are reminded of the importance of maintaining the security and confidentiality of all patient medical data, which includes the prescription profile within PharmaNet. Any access must be directly related to the care of a patient by the treating physician. Persons authorized by a physician to access PharmaNet must do so under the direct supervision of the physician. Physicians take full responsibility for all access authorized on their behalf and must ensure full compliance with current confidentiality and security standards, as well as the policies and procedures set forth by the BC Ministry of Health. This is why every physician must apply for, and obtain access to, PharmaNet. "Browsing" of the PharmaNet database, for example, by a physician or a person acting on that physician's behalf, is unacceptable and would be referred to the complaints department for review. Penalties for unauthorized access will normally be severe.

Information about PharmaNet, including how to apply, can be found at the BC Ministry of Health's Community Health Practice Access to PharmaNet website.