PRIME: A new way to request approval for PharmaNet access

The Ministry of Health has launched PRIME, a new way for community health practitioners to request approval for PharmaNet access. PRIME is currently available to physicians, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists in a community practice setting (i.e. private practice), and by those who access PharmaNet on their behalf, such as medical office assistants, licensed practical nurses, registered practical nurses and registered nurses. 

As a centralized way to request approval for PharmaNet access, PRIME allows better security for patient and practitioner data, and more stringent monitoring and auditing of PharmaNet access.

The information management regulation under the Pharmaceutical Services Act was enacted in 2015 to improve user management for PharmaNet and address security and privacy concerns arising from security breaches and audit reports. The regulation establishes the Ministry of Health as the sole authority for granting access to PharmaNet.

PRIME consists of two new processes: user enrolment (for community health practitioners) and site registration (for community health practices).

Community practitioners will need to enroll in PRIME when they join a new practice or update the information they provided when they requested access to PharmaNet through ComPAP or MPAP. The terms of access they sign in PRIME replace the ComPAP and MPAP agreements.

Community practices needing a new PharmaNet access site or updating information for an existing site will go through a new site registration process.

New remote access policy

The Ministry of Health has simultaneously released a new remote access policy, which allows access to PharmaNet at a location outside an approved community practice site (e.g. from home). Remote access was prohibited under previous ComPAP and MPAP agreements. The PRIME terms of access allow for remote access under specified conditions. In order to get remote access, the community practice completes the new site registration and the practitioner enrols in PRIME.

Who enrolls in PRIME now?

  • Physicians joining a community practice
  • On-behalf-of users joining a community practice (e.g., MOAs, RNs)
  • Anyone updating information about themselves (e.g. contact, licence, etc.)
  • Physicians wanting remote access

Registrants who are working in a community practice and already use PharmaNet, and do not need remote access, do not need to enroll in PRIME or register their site currently. The Ministry of Health will advise of the onboarding schedule when confirmed.

Who needs to use the new site registration process?

  • Any community practice needing a new PharmaNet access site (this includes changing PharmaNet software vendors)
  • A community practice updating its information (e.g. address, PharmaNet software vendor)
  • An existing site with practitioners wanting remote access

For more information, visit Community Health Practice Access to PharmaNet or contact PRIME@gov.bc.ca.