UBC Pharmacists Clinic first to gain access to CareConnect for better patient drug therapy monitoring

The Pharmacists Clinic at the UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences (the clinic) is the first licensed, community-based pharmacy in British Columbia to obtain access to CareConnect. This milestone for pharmacists and patients is the result of over a year of preparations by UBC and the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) e-health team. 
 
CareConnect is BC’s secure, view-only Electronic Health Record that gives healthcare providers access to integrated, patient-centric information to support the delivery of patient care across the province. Information of particular importance to pharmacists includes lab values, immunization records, hospital discharge summaries, and summaries of care provided by health authority services and programs.  
 
The clinic is Canada's first university-affiliated, licensed, pharmacist-led patient care clinic. Expert pharmacists at the clinic provide patients with the highest possible standard of health consultation services. Although licensed as a community pharmacy, the clinic operates like a speciality clinic and patients receive care by referral from a health care provider or self-referral. 
 
With CareConnect, clinic pharmacists can directly access critical health information such as kidney function, cholesterol levels and blood potassium levels to monitor the safety and effectiveness of drug therapies for patients. In the past, this information had to be accessed via an indirect and inefficient process that impeded pharmaceutical care.  
 
“Access to CareConnect has had an immediate and positive impact on how I provide care to patients”, shared Dr. Jillian Reardon from the clinic.  
 
“Having quick access to patient labs and health data has reduced the time I spend searching for additional information after I’ve seen a patient and allows me to provide more seamless and comprehensive care. I have increased confidence making recommendations about medications to the care team knowing I have a more complete clinical picture to draw from for a patient.” 
 
The pathway for pharmacist CareConnect access had many steps, including an updated designation order, development of a secure web portal for accessible outside of Health Authority systems, fulsome privacy and security reviews, new processes to align with pharmacist practice, new clinic application and user registration processes, and updated implementation processes.  
 
“The PHSA team has been working hard on behalf of British Columbians to get us to this point,” said Barbara Gobis, director, UBC Pharmacists Clinic and project lead for the clinic team.  
 
“We could not have achieved this milestone without their efforts along with UBC information technology and networking specialists, UBC privacy and security specialists, and clinical and operational experts from the clinic team.” 
 
Encouraged by the positive outcome and roll-out experience of the CareConnect access at UBC, the PHSA team is collaborating with the Ministry of Health's PharmaCare team (Integrated Health Services, Planning and Systems), BC Pharmacy Association and College of Pharmacists of BC to prepare and communicate the process for other pharmacists in community pharmacy practice to get CareConnect access.