Prescribing: Administration

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Prescribing: Administration

Formerly Faxing Prescriptions, the Prescribing: Administration standard now applies to all forms of prescription transmission. Prescribing: Administration also identifies required content and emphasizes security to prevent diversion and safeguard patients.


Quality, patient-focused prescribing requires effective collaboration between physicians and pharmacists. The physician’s responsibility is to ensure prescriptions are correct, properly authorized and transmitted via secure means if not given directly to the patient. The pharmacist’s responsibility is to ensure prescriptions are authentic and appropriate by evaluating scripts for alteration and inappropriate medications or dosing.

The key principles are:


  • Ensure adequate security when to transmit prescriptions to protect patient privacy and prevent diversion.
  • Fax direct from a password-protected EMR is currently the recommended electronic method of transmission; the password protocol is the prescriber’s direct authorization.
  • Triplicate Prescription Program (TPP) prescriptions still require handwritten signature authorization on a TPP form (process is unchanged).


  • To safeguard patients communicate prescriptions clearly and legibly, and avoid the use of abbreviations. For more on this, refer to the Health Quality Council of Alberta’s Medication Safety Abbreviations initiative
  • Avoid phoning in prescriptions. While convenient, telephone transmission is the most prone to error.

Patient Choice

  • Respect patient choice of pharmacy unless there is a compelling reason to send the patient to a particular pharmacy, such as for a compound prescription available only at specific sites.
  • If the patient’s preferred pharmacy does not support electronic prescription transmission, provide the prescription using an alternate format.

Also refer to the Prescribing: Administration Advice to the Profession.

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