Posted on March 2, 2021 by Seema Nayani
March is Pharmacy Appreciation Month, a yearly national campaign to celebrate pharmacists and their contributions to Canada’s health system. This year, the Canadian Pharmacists’ Association is shifting the event’s focus from “awareness” to “appreciation,” to better reflect pharmacists’ vital role in health care.
Particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve been humbled to see my fellow pharmacists go above and beyond to serve their patients. But for us to continue to provide the best care possible, we need the right technological supports in place. Every pharmacist knows the feeling when numerous faxes arrive at once, or when one phone call turns into multiple rounds of phone tag. To fully optimize our skills and knowledge, we need modern, effective tools, designed to support our workflows.
COVID-19 has changed how many Canadians work and communicate, and that’s especially true in health care. Over the last year, we’ve adapted to new modes of care delivery — like virtual visits — and embraced digital tools like PrescribeIT®, Canada’s national e-prescribing service. With e-prescribing, pharmacists can leave behind outdated technologies and collaborate with other health care providers more effectively.
PrescribeIT® integrates with both the electronic medical records used by prescribers, and pharmacy management systems, enabling e-prescribing and secure communications directly within their workflows. Pharmacists can more easily connect with prescribers to ask questions, request clarifications about prescriptions and collaborate on patient care. It also facilitates common requests like prescription renewals. As more patients rely on virtual care, family physicians and primary care providers can use technology to facilitate e-renewals, making for a smoother, more timely process for patients, prescribers and pharmacists alike.
By communicating with prescribers through PrescribeIT®, pharmacists can also alert prescribers to potential concerns. Improved communication is particularly important for controlled medications like opioids. Through increased collaboration, pharmacists and prescribers can ensure patients are receiving the optimal benefit from medications requiring close monitoring, while also improving patient safety.
As we celebrate pharmacists this month, let’s show our appreciation for their important role in patient care and patient safety by supporting them with the right technology and tools.
Learn more about e-prescribing and PrescribeIT® by visiting prescribeit.ca. Check out our User Journey video series to follow other clinicians on their PrescribeIT® journey, and submit your e-prescribing questions to health care professionals at Ask a Peer.
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Seema is a practicing pharmacist, and continuously looks for opportunities to implement digital health solutions to improve patient care and the clinician experience. She is the Manager, Medication Services at Canada Health Infoway where she provides clinical expertise and support to a number of Infoway initiatives, including PrescribeIT®. Seema graduated from the University of Toronto, and holds certifications in Healthcare Information and Management Systems, Geriatrics and Diabetes.