Reporting from the National PrescribeIT Policy and Priorities Table

By Tania Ensor

For many people, the end of the year offers time to reflect, reassess and plan priorities for the months ahead. Indeed, the season lends a certain timeliness to some of the engagement work currently underway with PrescribeIT®.

Reporting from the National PrescribeIT Policy and Priorities Table

PrescribeIT® is Canada’s national e-prescribing service. It seamlessly integrates in electronic medical records and pharmacy management systems, enabling prescribers to digitally send prescription data directly to a patient’s pharmacy of choice. User feedback is particularly valuable for guiding the service’s development and identifying areas of focus. To this end, we convened the PrescribeIT® Policy and Priorities Table (the “Table”).

This initiative brings together a broad group of stakeholders to discuss where e-prescribing should go, convening many voices around the same table. To kickstart this work, we compiled several years of user feedback into a longlist of 16 e-prescribing policies and priorities. Through surveys and interviews, we refined our longlist to 10 key priorities deemed “important” or “very important” by stakeholders.

But the consultation process did not end there. In late November, the 10 priorities were presented at the Table session. Approximately 70 stakeholders attended the event, representing a broad range of sectors: from patients, to clinicians, to private and public sector leaders.

Each participant held a piece of a puzzle we were solving together. Where opinions differed, they did so constructively, building upon and enhancing each other. Listening to the collegial conversations (and watching the swiftly moving chat!), I was struck by the sense of shared purpose among the attendees. No one voice dominated — the focus remained on our collective goal.

And so, you could call this particular “Table” a potluck. The conversations ranged widely between topics: from Indigenous engagement, to considerations around opioids and controlled medications, to patient data rights and clinical workflows. Joining these different experiences and realms of expertise made a “menu” more than the sum of its parts, and the attendees’ generosity in sharing was humbling.

Exiting the session, I couldn’t help but reflect on how much further we can go when we work together. All of us — patients, technical experts, clinicians, policymakers — have something to contribute to our shared health system. The Table illustrated that truth and hinted at the possibilities of futures driven by collaboration.  

I’ll close with one participant’s striking comment about the benefits of PrescribeIT®: “Safer, faster.” As we move into 2022 and beyond, “Safer, faster, together” is a fine compass by which to steer.

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About the author
Tania Ensor

Tania Ensor

Tania Ensor is responsible for PrescribeIT® Marketing, Stakeholder Relations and Reputation Management.  She is an award-winning professional whose 25 years of experience spans the private, public and agency worlds, including organizational strategy development, brand and marketing management, and crisis and issues management.