Caring for Patients during a State of Emergency
Earthquakes, floods, tsunamis and wildfires are just some of the potential hazards in BC.
Medical records may be difficult to access during a disaster. Patients who rely on a prescription should talk to their primary health care provider or pharmacist about how to keep an extra supply or valid prescription in their emergency kit and grab and go bags.
Patients displaced by an evacuation, can also visit a pharmacy near them to access an emergency supply of medications they may need. The College’s Find a Pharmacy tool can help patients locate a pharmacy in the community where they are staying.
Providing Continuity of Care for Patients
Professional Practice Policy 25 – Pharmacy Disaster Preparedness outlines what’s expected of pharmacists in providing continuity of care for patients during a state of emergency.
Pharmacists are required to use their professional judgement, thoroughly document any medications they provide and communicate with the patient’s prescriber as soon as possible.
PharmaNet also plays an important role in supporting continuity in care by allowing a pharmacist to review a patient’s prescriptions and medication history regardless of what pharmacy a patient typically uses.
Participating in Local Emergency Management Plans
In BC, local governments lead the initial response to emergencies and disasters in their communities.
Pharmacy managers should reach out to the Emergency Program Coordinator for their community to ensure they are aware of and participate in local plans.
Temporary Pharmacy Licence
A Temporary Pharmacy Licence may be issued to help provide continuity of care for patients during an emergency.
The Temporary Pharmacy Licence applicant must already own a licensed pharmacy in the area where an Evacuation Order or Declared Local State of Emergency order has been issued.
The new location for the temporary pharmacy must be located near the area covered by the Evacuation Order or Declared Local State of Emergency and is at the discretion of the Registrar.
PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE POLICY-25
New Resource on Caring for Patients during a State of Emergency
The College has developed a new resource at bcpharmacists.org/emergency with information for pharmacy professionals and the public on accessing medications during a state of emergency.
The College would like to thank Emergency Management BC, the Ministry of Health, and the First Nations Health Authority for their input in developing the new resource.
For questions related to providing continuity of care for patients during a state of emergency, contact the College’s practice support at [email protected].
Pharmacists and patients can also contact the First Nations Health Authority at 1-800-317-7878 to verify patient identification information and for NIHB billing purposes.
See the updated list of resources on bcpharmacists.org/emergency.