The start of the roll out of the provincial pharmacy network was announced this morning. From left are, Don Sweete, executive regional director Canada Health Infoway, Paul LePage, vice president and general manager of Healthcare Delivery Solutions, TELUS,
The province has officially started connecting community pharmacies to the provincial pharmacy network, the Health Minister Jerome Kennedy announced today.
The pharmacy network is a provincial drug information system that contains a record of patient medication information and comprehensive drug information to assist pharmacists in identifying potential adverse drug interactions.
Kennedy said the pharmacy network is one of the largest and most complex information technology projects undertaken in the province.
The project is part of the provincial electronic health record (EHR) designed to support improved patient safety and enhanced care. The network will provide pharmacists, and eventually physicians and other authorized health professionals, with medication information when and where it is needed by connecting them to comprehensive electronic medication profiles for their patients.
"The pharmacy network will improve the quality of information available to health care professionals in this province and will help reduce medication errors and adverse drug events," said Mike Barron, chief executive officer of the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information (NLCHI).
Access to the pharmacy network is limited to authorized health care professionals who prescribe, dispense, update and view medications over secure networks.
The connection of 190 community pharmacies province-wide will be phased-in throughout this year. Once a pharmacy is connected, information about medications held at that pharmacy will be added to the pharmacy network. After community pharmacies, the next step is connecting facilities in the four regional health athorities to the Pharmacy Network.
Provincial electronic health records is a collaborative project that includes NLCHI, the province, Canada Health Infoway (Infoway), and the regional health authorities. The provincial government and Infoway have committed $8.6 million and $17.9 million respectively in pharmacy network development and implementation to date. The province will fund the ongoing operation of the pharmacy network.
The company TELUS worked with the NLCHI to build the drug information system.