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PharmaNet, PRIME and Midwives


Sep 12, 2022

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

This change is driven by revisions to the Information Management Regulation, that were passed in mid-December 2021. These changes mean that BCCNM registrants previously accessing PharmaNet on behalf of another practitioner (e.g., a physician) may now access independently.​

You can read more on the PRIME website: Why PRIME?​

Information session

Over 30 midwives attended an information session with the Ministry of Health (MoH) on Aug. 3, 2022, to learn about PRIME and PharmaNet.

The MoH team cleared up some confusion during the online session. They first explained that enrolling in PRIME i​s a legal requirement for healthcare professionals who access PharmaNet to care for patients.

Registered midwives may be unaware they are accessing PharmaNet at a health authority facility, as PharmaNet is often accessed through another application such as Cerner. If you work at a health authority and require PharmaNet access to deliver patient care (e.g., to complete medication reconciliation when your patient is admitted), you must enrol in PRIME. This is a requirement for all health care practitioners who require access to deliver patient care, including physicians, midwives and nurse practitioners.

Health care settings where practitioners want to access PharmaNet must register their access sites with the Ministry of Health.

Below is a summary of the questions and answers from the information session, as well as information on how to enrol.

Questions about PRIME should be directed to PRIME support: call 1-844-397-7463 or email PRIMESupport@gov.bc.ca​​.​ We thank all midwives for their attention as the Ministry rolls out this important initiative.​

What is PRIME?

At its simplest, PRIME is an online application. You ​first confirm your identity with the BC Services Card app, then provide information about your work—your role, where you access PharmaNet, and your history managing confidential information. The MoH reviews the information and approves or does not approve you to access PharmaNet. When you are approved, you are assigned a unique ID (“GPID”). This is used to set up your access and then is linked to every transaction you make in PharmaNet.

What is PharmaNet?​

PharmaNet is a computer network that contains records of every prescription dispensed in a B.C. community pharmacy. About 500,000 PharmaNet transactions occur each day, performed by an average of 7000 users. PharmaNet is used by health professionals working in community pharmacies and health practices, and health authority facilities such as hospitals and outpatient clinics.

Why do I have to enrol in PRIME?

You must enrol in PRIME if you need to access PharmaNet to deliver patient care, including prescribing.

As stated above, if you work at a health authority and require PharmaNet access to deliver patient care (e.g., to complete medication reconciliation when your patient is admitted), you must enrol in PRIME.

Why do I have to register my practice to get access to PharmaNet—it’s an additional cost!

​As per the midwife prescribing standards, midwives who prescribe must “obtain the best possible medication history for the client using PharmaNet.” Checking PharmaNet is considered a best pratice for prescribers, and is mandatory for those prescribing controlled drugs and substances. If you do not prescribe, this is not a requirement for you.

Every private community practice requiring PharmaNet access must contract with a third-party vendor for use of an application to access PharmaNet. As stated above, midwifery practices who prescribe are expected to secure access to PharmaNet, as indicated in the standards.

I have a midwifery practice, but I don’t access PharmaNet on site. I use PharmaNet when I am out working—for example, at a hospital. Do I need to register my practice in that case?

To use PharmaNet in the health authority facilities, you must enrol in PRIME and let the health authority(ies) know about your enrolment so they can set up a local PharmaNet account for you in their PharmaNet software application(s). Please connect with your employer/institutional department head to determine who sets up PharmaNet access at your work location.

If you need access to PharmaNet for patients you are not caring for in an health authority facility, you must set up access for your own practice. Please refer to the “How To” sections on site registration and user enrolment below.

​​​Midwives are often in people’s homes. That’s where we need access to PharmaNet. Is there any chance of this?

​​Remote access to PharmaNet is available to some practitioners in private community health practices. The practice must contract a PharmaNet software vendor and have registered their access sites with the Ministry. We are looking into providing remote access to midwives if the interest is there.

Please note that any remote access must still be connected to a registered PharamNet site in B.C. where you deliver patient care. PharmaNet does not support entirely virtual services.​

How do I reg​ister a site?​​

A site is a combination of a physical location and a PharmaNet software vendor. If a practice has one location with two PharmaNet software vendors, they will have two sites. If they have two locations and one vendor, they have two sites.

  1. Contract a PharmaNet software vendor, and
  2. Identify someone who is legally authorized to sign the Organization Agreement for PharmaNet Use and accept the site terms of access (they do not need to be a PharmaNet user or a regulated health professional).
  3. Locate your municipal business license. You will need to upload this as part of the site registration process. Full information about registering a site, with a video tutorial, is available at Community Health Practice Access to PharmaNet.
How do I enrol as a PharmaNet user in PRIME?

You will need your PharmaNet ID and your BCCNM licence number (registration ID).

What is my PharmaNet ID?

Your PharmaNet ID is your licence number with one zero added at the beginning. So, if your licence number is 1234, your PharmaNet ID will be 01234.

If you are a prescribing midwife and have a Prescriber ID a​ssigned by the college, it will become your PharmaNet ID.

To find your licence number, log in to your online services account:

 

What do I need to enrol?
  1. Set up the BC Services Card app on a mobile device. If you have the app already, make sure it is up to date.
  2. 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.
  3. You will have received an email from the college with your College ID and your PharmaNet ID. If you can’t find this email, see the instructions above for how to find this information.
  4. In PRIME, you will enter your PharmaNet ID in the “PharmaNet ID" field. Your PharmaNet ID is your license number with a zero added at the beginning. (See below) Note: If you are a prescribing midwife with a Prescriber ID assigned by BCCNM, 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. Midwife license numbers are four digits.

     

  5. Enrol in PRIME. It should take no more than 10 minutes.
Resources
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Thank you,

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