Prescribing: Administration

Standard of Practice

Under Review: Yes
Issued by Council (Faxing Prescriptions): January 1, 2010
Reissued by Council (Prescribing): March 10, 2016
Reissued by Council – name change only (Prescribing: Administration): April 1, 2017

  1. A regulated member who issues a prescription for a substance regulated under the Food and Drugs Act (Canada) or Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Canada) must ensure the prescription is accurate, legible and includes the following:
    1. patient’s name;
    2. date prescription is issued;
    3. drug name, dose, form and quantity prescribed;
    4. prescribing physician’s name;
    5. prescribing physician’s:
      1. address and telephone number; or
      2. registration number;
    6. directions for use and number of authorized refills; and
    7. direct authorization by valid signature (handwritten or digitally captured) that enables the dispenser to verify its authenticity.
  2. Prior to transmitting a prescription, a regulated member must:
    1. verify the prescription conveys the intended information; and
    2. facilitate reasonable patient choice regarding dispensing pharmacy.
  3. A regulated member who transmits a prescription must ensure the:
    1. transmission method is secure to protect patient confidentiality and prevent diversion;
    2. transmission for the purpose of dispensing can only be received by the intended licensed pharmacy; and
    3. transmission is compliant with clause (1) and also includes the:
      1. time and date of the transmission; and
      2. name and contact information of the intended pharmacy.
  4. A regulated member who transmits a prescription for a drug requiring a Tracked Prescription Program (TPP) form must include the pharmacy’s copy of the TPP form in the transmission clearly identifying:
    1. the unique triplicate number;
    2. the regulated member’s TPP registration number; and
    3. the patient’s name, date of birth and personal health number.
  5. A regulated member who uses an online platform (i.e., secure messaging) to transmit prescriptions must:
    1. use only secure system-to-system messaging between an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system and Pharmacy system or the Alberta Electronic Health Record (Netcare);
    2. ensure the EMR has prescription transmission audit capabilities;
    3. ensure the information is encrypted; and
    4. have a current privacy impact assessment that addresses the use of secure system-to-system messaging.
  6. Notwithstanding clause (5), a regulated member must not transmit a TPP form using an online platform.
  7. When issuing a prescription directly to a patient, a regulated member must not:
    1. reference on the prescription a specific pharmacy, pharmacist, distributor, agent or broker in the absence of a compelling clinical reason; or
    2. direct a patient to attend a particular licensed pharmacy unless justified by the limited availability of a product and/or service

About the Standards of Practice

The CPSA Standards of Practice are the minimum standards of professional behaviour and ethical conduct expected of all physicians registered in Alberta. Standards of practice are enforceable under the Health Professions Act and will be referenced in the management of complaints and in discipline hearings.


For questions or archived standards, policies and guidelines contact our Standards of Practice Advisor.

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