New Requirements for Verbal Prescription Orders
New requirements for the written records of verbal prescriptions to be filled at community pharmacies, will come into effect on Friday, June 19, 2020.
At it’s April 2020 meeting, the College Board approved proposed amendments to the Health Professions Act Bylaws Schedule F Part 1 – Community Pharmacy Standards of Practice (CSOP) and Part 3 – Residential Care Facilities and Homes Standards of Practice (RCSOP) regarding the receipt of a written record of a verbal prescription.
The new requirements address a barrier whereby hospital discharge prescriptions written by pharmacists via verbal authorization from a practitioner are often not accepted by community pharmacies and residential care facilities, as they do not meet the current prescription requirements in the CSOP.
The current prescription requirements in the CSOP require that all prescriptions include the signature of the practitioner. However, verbal prescriptions written by a hospital pharmacist, via verbal authorization from a practitioner, do not include a practitioner signature and, as such, do not meet these requirements.
In order to address this barrier, the new requirements provide an additional subsection acknowledging verbal prescriptions as valid if the written record includes:
- The name and regulatory college identification number of the practitioner
- The name, college identification number and signature or initial of the registrant who received the verbal prescription
Ensuring these requirements are included on the written record is important for maintaining accountability and traceability.
This means that all written records of verbal orders to be filled at a community pharmacy must now meet these requirements. This includes written records of verbal orders taken by registrants in the community.
Additional amendments to the language in section 6(2) of the CSOP outlining prescription requirements, include the removal of “upon receipt from the practitioner,” and broadening subsection (a) to state “the date of the prescription.”
First, given that the definition of “prescription,” as set out in the Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Act, already requires authorization from a practitioner, stating “upon receipt from a practitioner” is redundant. Removal of this redundancy also avoids potential confusion regarding written records for verbal prescriptions.
Lastly, broadening the language in subsection (a) to state “the date of the prescription,” enables application to both written and verbal prescriptions.
Amendments to the Community Pharmacy Standards of Practice
Provisions within the RCSOP mirror the language for prescription requirements within the CSOP. As such, consequential amendments to the RCSOP will also come into effect on June 19, 2020. Additional minor amendments were also approved in order to address redundancies and ensure consistency throughout each document.