Direct eFax of Prescriptions from Connect Care to Community Pharmacies

As of July 25, 2023, AHS and AHS partner facilities using the Connect Care clinical information system can send medication prescriptions directly to community pharmacies via an electronic fax ("eFax") process. This avoids the prior need to print, hand-sign, then fax a prescription. Community pharmacists receive these prescriptions via fax, following their usual procedures. The new Connect Care eFax workflow cannot be used for prescriptions for drugs classified as Type 1 under the Tracked Prescription Program (TPP); these prescriptions still require the use of a paper TPP secure prescription form. Note that the eFax option is available for medications only, not supplies such as diabetic supplies. 

This new service has many advantages:

  • Safety - reduced transcription and interpretation errors associated with traditional handwritten paper prescriptions
  • Convenience - prescribers, pharmacies and patients will no longer require manual paper processes, saving time and reducing the change of lost prescriptions
  • Choice - each patient can choose the pharmacy to which their prescription(s) will be transmitted
  • Security - the prescriptions transmitted from Connect Care include new verification features to ensure prescription authenticity
For security and safety, electronically faxed Connect Care prescriptions include an electronic signature linked to the unique username, password and professional registration number of each prescriber (such as a physician's College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta registration number). The electronic signature replaces a handwritten ("wet") signature; consequently, graphic signatures are not required and do not appear on direct-faxed prescriptions. Additionally, each prescription has a unique order number that is specific to that prescription. Community pharmacists have access to a new online real-time validation tool that can verify the authenticity of Connect Care electronic prescriptions.

After the initial go-live date of July 25, Hyperspace must be restarted once for the eFax functionality to be available.

How does this affect prescriber workflow?

To send a prescription via direct electronic fax to a community pharmacy, there are two steps for the ordering prescriber:

  1. Confirm or enter the patient's preferred pharmacy (or pharmacies); and
  2. Change the order class to "Fax" (the default is "Print", including for refills) and select the destination pharmacy (or pharmacies).

A tip sheet further explains these steps. (Note: This workflow should not be used for treatment [therapy] plan medications, as these have specific settings that should not be changed.) Information and resources for community pharmacists are available on ahs.ca.