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November 14, 2018
Verification of patient identity is needed each time you release a prescription drug or sell a Schedule 2 drug.

We’re all human. Every now and then, we are going to make a mistake. It’s inevitable. That’s why it’s crucial to verify the identity of your patient before you release a drug or blood product under a prescription or the sale of a Schedule 2 drug.

Every time.

The requirement to verify your patient’s identity comes straight from the Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians (8.1). It states the following:

Before the release of a drug or blood product provided under a prescription or the sale of a Schedule 2 drug, the pharmacist or the pharmacy technician who releases the drug or blood product must ensure communication occurs with the patient to confirm

  1. the identity of the patient;
  2. the identity of the drug or blood product being dispensed or sold; and
  3. refill information, if applicable.

Verifying the identify of your patient and ensuring the right drug is going to the right person is as simple as removing the medication from the bag, confirming the patient’s name, and visually confirming the medication with the patient.

For some tips, watch our video (produced when we were still the Alberta College of Pharmacists).

If a pharmacy professional were to release the wrong medication to a patient, not only is there a danger that the patient may ingest something potentially harmful to them, it could also mean there was a breach of someone’s privacy.

A reminder that, as reported in the September 19, 2018, edition of The Link, all privacy breaches that could potentially lead to a risk of harm to an individual, must be reported to the individual affected, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner, and the Minister of Health.