PRP Insights: Patient ID in Community Pharmacy
The Practice Review Program’s Pharmacy Professionals Review is based on Board-approved focus areas that were identified as having the most impact on patient safety. The first of these focus areas is Patient Identification Verification, which is the very first step to providing pharmacy care.
During practice reviews, we have observed that some registrants are unclear about the requirements. In fact, we’ve found it to be one of the top areas of non-compliance.
The Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Act (PODSA) Bylaws require that the identity of the patient is confirmed before providing pharmacy services. At the time of dispensing, every prescription in community pharmacy must include written confirmation of the registrant who verified patient identification.
For NEW patients in community pharmacy:
Where a patient is personally known to the registrant, the registrant may positively identify the patient. In cases where the patient is not known to the registrant, positive identification is best achieved by viewing one piece of primary identification or two pieces of secondary identification. Reminder: BC Services Cards are acceptable as primary ID, but BC CareCards (ie. no photo identification) are considered secondary ID.
For RETURNING patients in community pharmacy:
If a registrant is unfamiliar with the patient, identification should always be viewed. Even if the registrant is familiar with and can positively identify the patient, asking open ended questions such as date of birth, address or phone number are still good practices that can further prevent possible mix-ups and errors.
Patient identification verification is a fundamental standard to ensure that the right patient gets the right drug. For an example of what can go wrong when these standards are not adhered to, please see: Regulators’ investigation into prescription fraud identifies 150 health professionals
For additional information, please refer to the full Patient Identification Verification Focus Area.
This article is part of a series exploring each of the four Board-approved focus areas. To read the rest of the series, please use the following links:
- Profile Check in Community Pharmacy
- Counselling in Community Pharmacy
- Documentation in Community Pharmacy