Patient Relation Program Standard Now Available

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Patient Relation Program Standard Now Available

The College’s Patient Relations Program Standard helps to protect public safety by providing clearer standards and requirements for dealing with misconduct of a sexual nature.

The Standard, which is now available on the College website, provides guidance to pharmacy professionals on maintaining proper professional boundaries with patients and former patients, and preventing professional misconduct of a sexual nature. It also raises pharmacy professionals’ awareness of their responsibility to educate themselves on professional ethics.

While complaints regarding sexual misconduct by College registrants are rare, the Standard will provide a more robust regulatory framework to protect the public against a range of patient relations issues.

What is Professional Misconduct of a Sexual Nature?

Sexual Misconduct includes:

  • Sexual intercourse or other forms of physical sexual relations between the registrant and the patient,
  • Touching, of a sexual nature, of the patient by the registrant, or
  • Behaviour or remarks of a sexual nature by the registrant towards the patient.

This does not include touching, behaviour and remarks by the registrants towards the patient that are of a clinical nature appropriate to the service being provided.

The guidelines in the Standard align with the principles of the Framework for a Model Patient-Practitioner Relationship Program for BC Health Regulators. The Standard applies these principles to pharmacy practice, and enhances regulatory safeguards to protect patients and the public.

The Standard builds on the professional standards already required of all pharmacy professionals, as reflected in the College’s Code of Ethics and Conflict of Interest Standards.

The Standard also outlines the statutory requirement of all registrants to report sexual misconduct under Section 32.4 of the Health Professions Act.

Provincial legislation requires designated health professional colleges under the Health Professions Act to develop a patient relations program. Under section 5 of the Pharmacists Regulation under the Health Professions Act, the College is designated to establish a patient relations program to seek to prevent professional misconduct of a sexual nature.

Apr 16, 2019