Get your fax right

May 15, 2019

Pharmacy professionals are custodians of their patients’ personal and health information. It is a big responsibility and one that should not be taken lightly.

Sometimes, the college is made aware of a fax that was inadvertently sent to the wrong recipient, either a physician of the same name, or simply the wrong fax number altogether. This is a reminder to verify the name and fax number of the recipient before sending a fax. This is outlined on page 32 of ACP’s Helping pharmacists and pharmacy technicians understand the Health Information Act document. A best practice is to confirm the fax number by phone before sending the transmission.

In addition, if you send a patient’s personal information via fax to the wrong recipient, it may be considered a breach of your patient’s privacy. If that is the case, contact the recipient and ask them to return or destroy the documents. You are also required to report the breach, as we shared in the September 19, 2018, Link.

Sending information to the wrong recipient can also delay care for your patient as they wait for a response from the appropriate health professional.

Finally, it is a breach of privacy if you post an image of a patient’s prescription on social media with any identifying information. Please ensure that no patient information is visible in any images you wish to share on social media channels. You must also ensure that you do not share images of the prescriber’s information. Generally, ACP discourages pharmacy professionals from sharing any portion of a patient’s health or personal information on social media.

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