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Photos of prescriptions not enough

February 7, 2018

The technology is out there.

Mobile apps have been created that allow an individual to forward an image of their prescription to a pharmacy in advance of picking up their medication. The Alberta College of Pharmacists would like to remind pharmacy professionals and the public that, for a prescription to be filled and dispensed, the original prescription must be obtained.

If an individual uses an app, text, or email to provide the pharmacy a copy of a prescription, pharmacy team members are permitted to check their inventory to see if stock is available. Individuals must present the original prescription for a pharmacy professional to conduct an assessment, create a patient record, enter information into Netcare, and dispense the medication.

It is not good practice to prepare a prescription before seeing the original, as this increases the risk of error and the possibility of creating inaccurate or duplicate records. Pharmacies are, in fact, required to obtain and retain the original prescription before any records are created or uploaded to Netcare. Standard 6 in the Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians refers to pharmacy professionals’ responsibility to determine that prescriptions are current, authentic, and complete.

e-Prescribing is coming

In the near future, electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) will facilitate the transmission of a prescription directly from a prescriber to a pharmacy. In fact, Alberta Health is currently trialing an e-prescribing program that enables the transmission of a prescription through a provincially recognized e-prescribing solution that has met all PIA and privacy requirements important to the security and privacy of electronically transmitted patient information.