Each year more than 32 million prescriptions are filled in Alberta based on manual signatures on paper prescriptions. Paper-based prescriptions take more time to be completed and also increase the chance of human error. By providing information electronically, through real-time system-to-systemmessaging, ePrescribe will help health care providers provide services to patients in a more efficient manner. ePrescribe will also improve patient safety by reducing the opportunity for these errors resulting from handwritten and oral communication.

The transition from paper to electronic prescribing will include replacing paper signatures with secure electronic signatures and usingreal timemessaging between Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems, PharmacySystems, and the provincial EHR drug repository.


The key focus of ePrescribe is to remove the requirement for paper in the prescribing and dispensing process.This change will be supported by completing the following business objectives:

  • Working with stakeholders to define high level business and functionalrequirements;
  • Working with federal and provincial governing bodies to remove legaland regulatory barriers that may impede theimplementation ofePrescribe in Alberta;
  • Working with regulatory bodies to ensure that professional standardsof practice for prescribers and dispensers supportelectronic prescribing;
  • Working with EMR and pharmacy systemvendors to ensure a smooth transition toelectronic prescribing;
  • PilotingePrescribe with clinics usingenabledEMRs
  • Implementing ePrescribe province-wide; and
  • Planning for future phases of the initiative.

Current Status

e-Prescribe will be implemented according to the following phases:

  • Phase 1: Initiative Definition and Conceptual Design
  • Phase 2: Project Planning and Initiation
  • Phase 3: Requirements Analysis, Detailed Architecture Definition,and pilot
  • Phase 4: Province-wide deployment of the technical solution
  • Phase 5: Evaluation, and planning for future phases

ePrescribe is currently in phase 3.

Future Developments

Future phases of this project will consider the following enhancements:

  • Technological Support for the Triplicate Prescription Program.
  • Eliminate the dependency on paper in the dispensing processes which occurs within the pharmacy.

ePrescribe is currently in pilot. Once the pilot has been evaluated, Alberta Netcare will expand ePrescribe to additional communities.