Pharmacists’ Standards of Practice Support Safe, Quality Health Care in Newfoundland and Labrador
St. John’s, NL – Pharmacists in Newfoundland and Labrador continue to provide safe, effective and quality health care services in the province through their expanded scope and professional Standards of Practice. In addition to prescribing for minor ailments and administering injections, pharmacies are now adding registered pharmacy technicians to their teams and the Pharmacy Network is poised to reach full connection by March 2017.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board’s (NLPB) Standards of Pharmacy Operation for Community Pharmacies, approved in June 2015, came into full effect on January 1, 2017. The updated Standards support the Board and government-approved regulations, under the Pharmacy Act, 2012, that allow pharmacists to prescribe treatment for various minor ailments and administer injections and vaccinations. For example, the NLPB Standards of Practice require pharmacies to provide confidential patient counsel areas and high-level security features to decrease unwanted access.
“Our goal at the Board in implementing these Standards of Practice is to ensure patients receive the safe, quality health care they have come to expect from the province’s pharmacists. We can assure Newfoundlanders and Labradorians that is and will continue to be the case as each pharmacy and registrant in the province, including hospital pharmacies, must complete comprehensive training and practice in compliance with the Standards of Practice, which our Board monitors and audits.” Margot Priddle, Registrar Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board (NLPB)
The Standards of Pharmacy Operation for Community Pharmacies also require all licensed community pharmacies in the province to connect to the provincial electronic health record through the Pharmacy Network by January 1, 2017. Any pharmacies that were unable to meet the Standards requirements, including the connection deadline, were eligible to apply for conditional licensing to extend their compliance deadline to March 2017. As of today, 81% of pharmacies in the province are already connected to the Pharmacy Network and the number will reach 100% by March 2017. The Pharmacy Network provides pharmacists and other health care professionals with important patient medication information, ensuring health professionals have more complete patient information when delivering care.
“When a prescription is filled at a connected pharmacy, the Pharmacy Network stores information about the medications the patient is taking. This makes it easier for pharmacists and other health care professionals to make better decisions about care and helps prevent harmful drug interactions.” Steve Clark, President & CEO (Interim) Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information (NLCHI)
The Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information operates the Pharmacy Network, which is a key component of the provincial electronic health record, HEALTHe NL. HEALTHe NL is a secure and private record of an individual’s health and care history, available electronically to authorized health providers.
Another feature under the NLPB Standards of Practice is the addition of the registered pharmacy technician role, which complements and supports the role of the pharmacist. Currently, there are 14 registered pharmacy technicians on the NLPB’s register and the number will grow to more than 100 in 2017. Pharmacists will continue to hold accountability and responsibility for therapeutic and clinical aspects of prescriptions and consultations, whiler egistered pharmacy technicians can now take on accountability and responsibility for the technical aspects of those prescriptions.
As of today, all pharmacies in the province are poised to be in compliance with the NLPB Standards of Practice, including Pharmacy Network connection, within approved timelines.
“Pharmacists play an important role in the delivery of quality pharmacy care for the people of the province. The Pharmacy Board is pleased with the cooperation from community pharmacies to meet the Board Standards and progress to date to connect to the Pharmacy Network.” - Margot Priddle, Registrar, NL Pharmacy Board
Communciations Lead, NLPB
Director of Communications, NLCHI