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Important information for nurses about the PRIME initiative


Jul 8, 2022

​BCCNM is supporting the Ministry of Health as it rolls out PRIME, the system by which all health care practitioners will access PharmaNet

We will be emailing all nurses in B.C. over the coming months with their new PharmaNet ID and instructions on how to enrol. Please note that not all nurses will need to enrol—nurses should check ​with their manager or employer. (Note that NPs and midwives have already received ​their emails and begun enrolment.) 

If you are a prescribing nurse or midwife and already have a Prescriber ID assigned to yo​u by BCCNM, it will become your PharmaNet ID.

Please review the information below, which includes enrolment windows for LPN​​​s, RNs and RPNs. Questions about PRIME should be directed to PRIME support: call 1-844-397-7463 or email PRIMESupport@gov.bc.ca​​.​ We thank all nurses for their attention as the Ministry rolls out this important initiative.​

What is PRIME?

PRIME is on online application by which healthcare professionals and healthcare sites apply to the Ministry of Health for permission to access PharmaNet.
Once you, as a healthcare professional, are approved to access PharmaNet, PRIME assigns you a Global PharmaNet ID (GPID). This permanent identifier will be attached to all of your PharmaNet transactions. This protects patient information, and your own.

In PRIME, you will share your approval email, which includes your GPID, with your PharmaNet administrator who will set you up with PharmaNet access.​

What is PharmaNet?

PharmaNet is a computer system that contains records of every prescription dispensed in a B.C. community pharmacy and other client medication and health information. It is owned and administered by the Ministry of Health. PharmaNet:

  • allows health practitioners to use patient medication dispensing history to deliver care
  • helps protect patients from drug interactions and dosage errors
  • helps prevent accidental duplication of prescriptions and prescription fraud

Pharmacies, hospitals, health clinics, and other healthcare sites contract software vendors to use PharmaNet. You may know PharmaNet by the name of the software your workplace uses (e.g., Medinet, CareConnect or Cerner).

Understanding the terminology

PharmaNet ID/Prescriber ID: This is a five-character (either all numeric or alpha-numeric) ID assigned by BCCNM that allows a nurse to be identified as an independent user of PharmaNet. BCCNM will include your unique PharmaNet ID in the email we to send you when it's your turn to enrol in PRIME.

If you already had a five-digit ID for prescribing that is all numbers, and no letters (formerly known as College ID), you will continue to use this number. It is now called your PharmaNet ID. Note that new PharmaNet IDs assigned to nurses (NP, RN, RPN) after Sept. 1, 2022, are five-digit, alpha-numeric.

Registration ID: This is your unique identifying number associated with your BCCNM registration. You use this when you renew your registration, etc. and will also need it to enrol in PRIME. This is a number and may have any number of digits. When you are enroling in PRIME, you enter it in the field called "License Number from College".​​​

Your new PharmaNet ID

You have been assigned a PharmaNet ID for the purposes of PRIME enrolment and PharmaNet access. When it is your time to enrol, the college will email you and include this number (you can also find it in your BCCNM online account—see instructions below). 

If you are a prescribing nurse and already have a Prescriber ID assigned by your college, it will become your PharmaNet ID.​ You will need this PharmaNet ID and your BCCNM registration ID (called "License Number" in PRIME) when you enrol.

Where to find your PharmaNet ID—RNs and RPNs

​Log into your online services account:

Online services account

Where to find your PharmaNet ID—LPNs

Online services account


IF you also need to find your license number (Registration ID), click the 'Update my Personal Info' link at the bottom of the list of online services. This will take you to the screen below.​

Online services account

​​​When do I enrol?

​​Accessing PharmaNet for the first t​ime or new employee? Enrol immediately.

On-behalf-of users: If you have someone who will be acting on your behalf to access patient information, they will need to enrol in PRIME within the same window.​

Nurse practitioners and midwives: ​If you require access to PharmaNet (either new access or maintaining existing access), please enrol in PRIME as soon as possible.

All other nurse classes:

To maintain existing access, or to update the type of access you have from 'on behalf of' another practitioner to independent access, please follow the schedule below – you will not be able to enrol until you receive your PharmaNet ID from your college at the beginning of your enrolment window.

*Check with your employer for additional information on PRIME enrolment

​​​PRIME enrolment windows for nurses​​

​**If you are enrolling in PRIME to maintain existing access to PharmaNet, you must do so before April 30, 2023, regardless of which group you belong to.

What do I need to enrol?
  1. ​Confirm with your employer that you need access to PharmaNet to care for patients in your current role(s).
  2. Set up the BC Services Card app. If you have the app already, make sure it is up to date.

  3. Get the email address for the person in your workplace who sets up PharmaNet user accounts. After you accept the PharmaNet User Terms and Conditions in PRIME, you will enter this email address so your PRIME approval can be shared with them.

  4. You will receive an email from the college with your BCCNM Registration ID (License Number from College) and your PharmaNet ID when it is your time to enrol. In PRIME, you will enter the PharmaNet ID in the “PharmaNet ID" field. (See below) Note: If you are a prescribing nurse with a Prescriber ID assigned by your college, your PharmaNet ID is the same as your Prescriber ID.

    The License Number from College field is different from the PharmaNet ID, which always has only five digits/letters. License number must contain your full BCCNM license number, including all digits.​

    Screencapture of PharmaNet interface​​

  5. Enrol in PRIME. It should take no more than 10 minutes.
I already enrolled in PRIME
  • Return to PRIME.
  • Update your profile with your PharmaNet ID (if it is different from a Prescriber ID you entered previously) and submit. 
  • Review and accept new user terms of access for PharmaNet. This is necessary because all nurses are now recognized as independent PharmaNet users. This step is mandatory.
  • Re-send your PRIME approval email, so that your local PharmaNet user profile(s) can be updated.
I already access PharmaNet and am not enrolled in PRIME

Every PharmaNet user must enrol in PRIME to maintain PharmaNet access.

I don't know if I need access to PharmaNet

Talk to your manager. They will let you know if you will need to consult patient profiles in PharmaNet to deliver patient care as part of your job. If not, you do not need to enrol in PRIME.

Resources

Online walkthroughs of the enrolment process will be scheduled near the beginning of each enrolment period noted above. Look for a link in the coming email.

Thank you,

PRIME Support
1-844-397-7463
PRIMESupport@gov.bc.ca​​​​​​​​​​​​​​