PHYSICIAN PRESCRIBING PRACTICES
Education and quality-improvement help physicians provide safe patient care
IMPROVING YOUR PRESCRIBING PRACTICE
The Physician Prescribing Program (PPP) connects you to information, tools and resources to promote best practice and support safe and effective care for every patient every time.
PPP is evidence-based, collegial and supportive.
“Our program is entirely educational, focused on patients.”Dr. Mark Godel, CPSA Senior Medical Advisor
Standards & Policies
- Prescribing: Drugs with Potential for Misuse or Diversion
- Also see related Advice Document
- Physician Dispensing of Schedule 1 & 2 Drugs
- Prescribing: Adminstration
- TPP Alberta – OME and DDD Conversion Factors
- Ensuring Safe and Efficient Communication of Medication Prescriptons
- Terms and Conditions for Filling Prescriptions for Ambulatory Patients
- Cannabis for Medical Purposes
FAQ – PRESCRIBING
No, except when another physician is not available for emergency services. Note: You cannot bill for this service.
For further information refer to the CMA Code of Ethics – Section 20
A digitally captured signature is acceptable a long as the physician uses a hardware device and software for authentication. If transmitting a prescription using secure messaging in a closed electronic system, the EMR’s password protocol is considered direct authorization. However, the physician must log in and transmit the prescription themselves if using this method (i.e., the physician cannot delegate this to someone else).
The following scenarios are acceptable:
- Prescriptions produced by computer, then hand-signed by a physician or with an electronic signature that is hand-initialed by the physician and given to a patient to take to a pharmacy.
- Prescriptions produced by computer, then hand-signed by a physician or with an electronic signature that is hand-initialed by the physician and faxed to a pharmacy of the patient’s choice.
- Handwritten and signed prescriptions faxed to the pharmacy of a patient’s choice, following College guidelines.
- Prescriptions with a digitally captured signature. The signature must be captured with a hardware device and software for authentication. If transmitting a prescription using secure messaging in a closed electronic system, the EMR’s password protocol is considered direct authorization. However, the physician must log in and transmit the prescription themselves if using this method (cannot delegate).
For best practices, refer to the College’s Prescribing advice to the profession.
For the majority of drugs, a physician may refill a prescription over the phone without seeing the patient in person. However, some drugs (e.g., Triplicate Prescription Program Medication List) cannot be refilled over the phone.
If a physician does phone in a prescription, he/she may need to follow up with the patient to ensure the prescribed medication is working or to adjust the dosage. The physicians may also want to check if the patient has had any significant changes to their health that might require a change to the prescription.
No. The physician must see the patient before prescribing a new medication. For more information, refer to the CPSA standard of practice on Telemedicine.
No. Information about which physicians prescribe which drugs is not public information.
Please refer to Methadone Program for detailed information. Note: Health Canada requires the support of the College to process the application – all completed applications should be forwarded to the College Methadone Program office first. The College may request additional information prior to supporting an application for exemption.
For more information, call 1-800-320-8624 ext. 4944 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes. According to the Office of the Information Privacy Commissioner, the pharmacist is not providing a “health service” and a forged or stolen prescription does not contain “health information”.
Yes. According to the Office of the Information Privacy Commissioner, the fraudulent alteration of a prescription in any material respect means that this form is no longer “health information” and can be disclosed to the police.
Yes. However, there must be no conflict of interest. This means patients cannot feel coerced to purchase from that pharmacy, and it cannot be in close proximity to the physician’s clinical practice, including having to walk through the pharmacy to get to the medical office. A physician’s ownership in a pharmacy must not impact his/her prescribing practices.
For more information, please review the Conflict of Interest standard of practice.