If you want to limit who can see your file, you can put a keyword onto your file. Then your file will be accessible only to the pharmacy that knows your keyword. Your keyword will be needed each time you want to fill your prescription, including to refill the same prescription. It is also needed when you request information about your prescriptions, and every time a physician requests information from your file on your behalf, including your own doctor.

If you want to ensure that no one can get access without your express permission, you do not have to give any pharmacy or pharmacist your keyword. You control who can keep it on file. For example, you can give your keyword to your local pharmacist to keep, so only he (and any assistants) can access your PharmaNet file without having to ask you every time. If you want to use a different pharmacy you must remember your keyword so you can give it to that new pharmacist for that one-time use.

Some pharmacists may not be familiar with how to put a keyword on a patient record. You may wish to tell them about the instructions available on the College of Pharmacists website or simply print them up and take them with you to the pharmacy.

How Do You Put a Keyword On Your File?

Putting a keyword on your file is simple. It is done at your local pharmacy by your pharmacist. You simply tell her you want to put a keyword on your file, and the pharmacist will put it on, after she has verified your identity and you have chosen your own keyword. Your local pharmacists might want to keep a record of your keyword so she can access your file to fill your prescriptions, but she must get your consent first.

Unless the pharmacist has known you personally for more than two years, you have to show government-issued identification to prove your identity.

If you forget your keyword, you can ask your pharmacist to call the PharmaNet Help Desk, which will, on your instructions, delete your keyword and allow the pharmacist to access your file. You have to provide government-issued identification to the pharmacist before this is done.

You can put a new keyword on your file after your prescription is filled. You can change your keyword only once in any 24 hour period.

If you are in the emergency ward and are unable to give your keyword to the emergency staff, they can call the PharmaNet Helpdesk and have the keyword removed, so they can see what medication you are taking.

How Do You Get Access to Your PharmaNet Record?

It is a good idea to check your record from time to time to make sure it is accurate.

You can get access to your prescription record by asking your pharmacist.  Your pharmacist can give you a copy of the record that is kept in her local system, but cannot print you a record from the PharmaNet system. Instead she is required to forward your request to the College of Pharmacists of BC, who will mail your PharmaNet patient record directly to you.

There may be differences between the two records if the pharmacist had accessed your record on PharmaNet at times when you weren’t getting a prescription filled (such as looking at your record to evaluate drug interactions), because PharmaNet keeps a log of every time a record is accessed.

You have to show government-issued identification to request your PharmaNet record. Make sure the pharmacist confirms your current address is in the system, so your record is mailed to the correct address.

The College of Pharmacists will send you your patient record, which will include your demographic information, all medications dispensed to you by pharmacies in the previous 14 months, and all accesses to your patient record by pharmacists, emergency department physicians, private doctors and the College of Pharmacists and the College of Physicians for the previous 3 years.   If you want information that goes further back, you have to call the College of Pharmacists of BC at 604.733.2440 or 800.491.6333.