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When is an electronic signature acceptable?

February 19, 2013

Never, at the moment. ACP, the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta, and Alberta Health continue to work together to find secure e-prescribing solutions. However, until requirements for securing patient confidentiality, verifying authenticity, and preventing diversion are defined, e-prescribing is not acceptable.


  • Prescriptions produced by computer and hand-signed by the prescriber or with an electronic signature that is then initialled by the prescriber and delivered by the patient are acceptable. However, it is your responsibility to ensure the prescription is authentic, just as you would for a prescription which is handwritten.
  • Prescriptions that are produced by computer and hand-signed by the prescriber, or with an electronic signature and initialled by the prescriber, that are then faxed to the pharmacy.

NOT acceptable

  • Prescriptions emailed to you.
  • Prescriptions produced by computer but not signed by the prescriber, or has an electronic signature and is not initialled by the prescriber. There are insufficient security measures in place to ensure the validity of prescriptions sent electronically.