Board Highlights - June 18, 2021
Topics include the Practice Review Program Annual Report, Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada update, amendments to the Health Professions Act Bylaws, Registrar Search Committee update, and more.
How to Watch
Along with organizations across Canada, College staff and Board members have been doing our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by working remotely. As such, this month’s Board meeting was conducted virtually, via video conference.
A recording of the June Board Meeting is available here:
On behalf of the College of Pharmacists of BC, Board Chair Claire Ishoy, acknowledged and thanked the Sylix Okanagan people on whose unceded traditional territories she chaired the June 18, 2021 meeting. With Board members meeting virtually in different locations across BC, Chair Ishoy also acknowledged that Indigenous Peoples are the traditional stewards of the lands and waters from which each member attended the meeting from.
To the Indigenous peoples of this place we now call British Columbia: We turn our minds to you and to your ancestors. You have kept your unceded homelands strong. We are grateful to live and work here.
Acknowledging Indigenous History Month, the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, and Muslim Canadians
Board Chair Claire Ishoy began the meeting by acknowledging Indigenous History Month and encouraging British Columbians to learn about the First Peoples on whose unceded territory they live and work. She went on to also encourage learning about the amazing art, music, and literature created and shared by Indigenous People in BC and across Canada.
As part of this acknowledgement, Chair Ishoy spoke on behalf of the Board to extend their deepest condolences to the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nations and all Indigenous People following the discovery of the remains of 215 of their youngest, most vulnerable members at the hands of the residential school system as they continue to process this news.
“To all Indigenous People in BC, as Board Chair, I offer our unwavering support, and will continue to look to our First Nations Leaders as we determine a way to honour and remember the lives of these children.”
- CPBC Board Chair. Claire Ishoy
Chair Ishoy went on to acknowledge the violent acts of terrorism in London, Ontario where four individuals of Muslim faith were killed in a hate-motivated crime.
“While I am privileged to live here, it’s important to acknowledge that racism does exist in Canada, and that there is still so much work to be done to improve this country for all that live here.
As a group and as a society we must continue the work of embracing uncomfortable truths, and unlearning what we know about our country. It is easy to get discouraged by the enormity of the task ahead, particularly when these tragedies continue to unfold, however, we need to be steadfast in our commitment to addressing these issues and becoming anti-racist.
"I encourage you all to call out racism and discrimination for what it is, and to take meaningful action in order to build and promote equity and justice within our systems.”
- CPBC Board Chair. Claire Ishoy
The Board appointed BDO Canada LLP as the College’s auditors for the next two years, based on the recommendation of the Audit and Finance Committee.
In 2017, a competitive bid was conducted to identify possible auditors for the College and, following a review of the proposals, the Board approved BDO Canada LLP as the College’s auditor for the fiscal years ending February 28, 2018 through February 28, 2021, with the option to extend for an additional two years. BDO Canada LLP has extensive regulatory, public sector and non-profit experience and had excellent references. They have been thorough in their audits and have included a review of IT security as part of the annual audit.
PODSA Fee Increase Options
The Board approved to defer the implementation of the next pharmacy fee increase from April 2022, to November 2022.
Due to the sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the last pharmacy fee increase was approved for implementation later in the year than usual (September 2020 instead of April 2020). As a result, these fees came into effect in the 2021/2022 fiscal year starting on April 1, 2021.
At their April 19, 2021 meeting, the Audit and Finance Committee discussed planned pharmacy fee increases under Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Act (PODSA) for April 1, 2022. However, concerns were expressed about approving fee increases outside of the College’s annual budget review process. Given that this review would be outside of the annual budget cycle, there would be limited financial information available to prepare recommendations.
Deferring the implementation of the PODSA fee increases to November 2022 aligns them with the timing of the Health Professions Act fee increases (usually effective November 1), allowing the fees to be calculated as part of a regular budget review. It also ensures enough time is provided to allow for the legislated public posting and filing periods required under PODSA.
Practice Review Program Annual Report
Tracey Hagkull, Peter Williams and James Van presented the Board with the Practice Review Program (PRP) Annual Report for the 2020-2021 Fiscal Year (March 1, 2020 to February 28, 2021).
The PRP Annual Report summarizes the development of the virtual Pharmacy Professionals Review model and is a compilation and analysis of the data collected from virtual reviews and the registrant feedback survey during fiscal year 2020-2021 (March 1, 2020 to February 28, 2021).
The PRP conducts a comprehensive cyclical review of pharmacy and pharmacy professional practice, to ensure compliance with the standards of the College of Pharmacists of British Columbia.
When the COVID-19 pandemic was declared a public health emergency in March 2020, scheduled reviews were cancelled and open reviews with outstanding action items were postponed until July 2020. The College determined that it would not resume onsite Practice Reviews until BC reaches the last phase of its Restart Plan, which is conditional on wide vaccination, along with low case counts and low COVID-19 hospitalizations.
The Practice Review Program is a vital component of the College’s quality assurance process that focuses on areas that have the most impact to patient safety by helping pharmacy professionals to identify and improve areas of non-compliance. By launching a new virtual review model as part of the Practice Review Program, the College has been able to continue to protect public safety through this important quality assurance tool, while mitigating COVID-19 transmission risk, given the significant travel requirements associated with onsite reviews.
The Practice Review Program is a vital component of the College’s quality assurance process that focuses on areas that have the most impact to patient safety by helping pharmacy professionals to identify and improve areas of non-compliance. By launching a new virtual review model as part of the Practice Review Program, the College has been able to continue to protect public safety through this important quality assurance tool, while mitigating COVID-19 transmission risk, given the significant travel requirements associated with onsite reviews. The key consideration in developing the virtual review model was the safety of the public, pharmacy professionals and College staff with regards to:
- Provincial Restart Plan
- Work Safe BC requirements
- Protection of personal health information
- Corporate/health authority policies
Amendments to the Health Professions Act Bylaws, Schedule “C” to Recognize PharmAchieve’s Drug Administration Course
The Board approved amendments to the Health Professions Act (HPA) Bylaws, Schedule “C” – Recognized Education Programs, to incorporate an injection education program by PharmAchieve, for filing with the Minister of Health.
Multiple sections of the HPA Bylaws require that potential registrants obtain specific educational credentials from recognized programs for registration purposes. In addition, specific educational credentials are required for pharmacists seeking certification for drug administration (i.e., injection/intranasal drug administration authority).
Schedule “C” – Recognized Education Programs, under the HPA Bylaws, outlines the programs that the College accepts as part of its requirements for applicants and registrants. This includes educational programs that can be taken to fulfil requirements for the certified practice of drug administration by injection and intranasal route.
The College’s existing recognized programs for the certified practice of drug administration by injection and intranasal route educational programs are accredited by the Canadian Council on Continuing Education in Pharmacy (CCCEP). CCCEP is a national organization established to accredit continuing pharmacy education programs, and CCCEP accreditation is recognized by the pharmacy regulatory authorities in all Canadian provinces and territories.
PharmAchieve offers pharmacy exam preparation courses and continuing education courses. It offers an Injections and Immunizations Certificate Program for pharmacists, which is CCCEP accredited. The course is available in multiple cities in Canada, and includes an online individual-led component, an in-person component, and assessment.
Registrar Search Committee Update
Bob Nakagawa, Registrar/CEO of the College has indicated that he will be retiring in the Fall of 2021. As such, on April 30, 2021, the Board approved the establishment of a Registrar/CEO search committee to oversee the process of recruitment and selection of a suitable candidate. This committee will provide a recommendation to the Board for a new Registrar/CEO.
The Board appointed the following Board members to the Registrar Search Committee:
- Board Chair, Claire Ishoy
- Board Vice-Chair, Steven Hopp
- Board Member, Andrea Silver
- Public Board Member, Katie Skelton
- Public Board Member, Justin Thind
After providing invitations to four search firms to submit proposals, the Committee recommended Odgers Berndtson to the Board as the Executive Search firm for the Registrar/CEO, which the Board approved on June 8, 2021.
BC Public Advisory Network 2020-2021 Synopsis
Gillian Vrooman, the College’s Director of Communications and Engagement, presented to the Board a synopsis of the BC Public Advisory Network (BC-PAN), including its achievements over the past year.
The BC-PAN was initiated to promote meaningful public engagement on important issues related to health care regulation in BC. BC-PAN currently operates as a joint initiative between 11 health profession regulators in BC.
The health regulators involved in the BC-PAN include the:
- BC College of Nurses and Midwives
- College of Chiropractors of BC
- College of Dental Surgeons of BC
- College of Dieticians of BC
- College of Occupational Therapists of BC
- College of Opticians of BC
- College of Pharmacists of BC
- College of Physical Therapists of BC
- College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC
- College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of BC
Currently, there are sixteen public advisors involved with the BC-PAN. The public advisors have varying levels of experience interacting with health-care professionals and were selected to represent the diversity of the BC population.