The Department of Health and Wellness (DHW) in partnership with Canada Health Infoway has built and is implementing a province-wide Drug Information System in Nova Scotia. The Drug Information System will provide authorized healthcare providers with access to a comprehensive medication profile for their patients.
The Province of Nova Scotia is phasing the implementation of the Drug Information System in over the next few years.
Phase 1: Connecting Community Pharmacies
Community pharmacies began connecting to the Drug Information System in the fall of 2013, accessing the system through their pharmacy system. To comply with the Pharmacy Act, all community pharmacies must be connected to the Drug Information System by June 30, 2016.
Phase 2: Access in Hospital and in the Community
Other authorized healthcare providers in the community and in hospital like physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, dentists and optometrists will begin using the Drug Information System in the summer of 2015. Depending on their role, authorized healthcare providers will access the system through either the Drug Information System Portal or the SHARE Clinical Portal.
In this phase, authorized healthcare providers will be able to view medication profiles and add information to them or update existing information; prescribers will also be able to e-Prescribe.
Phase 3: Connecting with Physician EMRs
In the spring of 2015, technical specifications for the Drug Information System were completed and made available to the provincially approved and Canada Health Infoway accredited Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software vendors. Software vendors will be required to make modifications to their software for physicians to access the Drug Information System through their EMR. The timing of when physicians will have access to the Drug Information System through their EMR will depend on the timing of the modifications of their EMR vendor’s software. The provincially approved and Canada Health Infoway accredited EMR vendors include Nightingale, Practimax and QHR.
Through their EMRs, authorized healthcare providers will be able to view medication profiles and add information to them or update existing information; prescribers will also be able to e-Prescribe.
The Drug Information System means improved patient safety and quality of care.