Pharmaceutical Information Network (PIN)

The Pharmaceutical Information Network (PIN) is a web-enabled application within the Alberta Netcare Electronic Health Record (EHR) that provides access to a patient’s active and previous medications. PIN’s ultimate goal is to facilitate improved quality of care by providing authorized health care providers with the information and tools needed to make optimal drug therapy decisions.

PIN not only provides access to a patient's medications, but also includes allergy and intolerance information, pharmacy care plans, access to drug monographs, drug decision support, dispense information and the ability to create prescriptions and manage warnings. PIN is the central repository of the patient's Medication Profile.   

The Clinical Document Viewer Medication Profile 

The Medication Profile provides a view-only report of a patient's drug summary, or a detailed listing of medications for a specified number of months. It includes; a list of prescriptions, dispenses, other medications and a list of known allergies and intolerances that have been provided to PIN for a patient. The Medication Profile function in Alberta Netcare Portal acts as a quick alternative to the Print Profile with History Report found in PIN. The information is currently provided by community and out-patient pharmacies. Eventually PIN will include information from all other prescribers as well.    

For further information on the Medication Profile and how to use it, view the ANP Quick Reference: How to Navigate the  Medication Profile.  

Real-Time Access through Integrated Clinical Systems

Clinical Systems such as Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) and Pharmacy Practice Management Systems (PPMSs), integrated with the Electronic Health Record (EHR), provide continuous real-time access to the Pharmaceutical Information Network (PIN) and the Provincial Client Registry (PCR). As the health care provider works in the patient's record on their local system, the patient's demographic and medication profile data is automatically exchanged with PCR and PIN. As additional new data is recorded in the local system by the pharmacist or physician, it is automatically sent to PIN, and immediately available for all other health care providers connected to the EHR.

Sharing PIN Information

PIN uses a common computer language, or healthcare messaging standard, called Health Level Seven (HL7). This allows different computer systems to send and receive information to each other in a secure way. As a result, Pharmacies, physician offices, primary care sites and other health facilities can exchange PIN information - even though they use different local systems.

PIN and Authorized Health Care Providers

Health Care Professionals who do not use real-time integrated systems can access PIN through Alberta Netcare Portal. Alberta Netcare Portal access to PIN is based on ANP User Role and profession. Access permissions are set up to ensure you have enough information available for you to do your job, and that information is only accessed on a need to know basis. Only authorized users with the appropriate permissions may access PIN.

An authorized user is a Custodian or Affiliate who has been granted security access. Generally this is the person who, in the normal course of their duties, has a business need to:

  • View PIN information.
  • Create prescriptions in PIN.
  • Add and/ or update allergy and intolerance information in PIN.

If you require acess to PIN, or need to modify your ANP User Role, contact your facility's Access Administrator.

PIN data comes from a variety of sources:

    • Dispensing data, notes, and  pharmacy care plans from community pharmacies and outpatient pharmacies
    • Prescription information from community prescribers
    • Basic Patient demographic information from Alberta Health databases (Provincial Client Registry – PCR)
    • Drug information and interaction checker from Health Canada Drug and natural product information and First Data Bank Inc Drug Database
    • Historic senior’s drug information from Alberta Blue Cross Group 66
    • Information on the pharmacies and health care providers from Alberta Health databases (e.g. Delivery Site Registry – DSR, Provincial Provider Registries – PPR, Alberta Health (AH) Central Stakeholder Registry (CSR) information))

PIN Definitions

Health Level Seven (HL7)

HL7 is common computer language, or healthcare messaging standard. This allows different computer systems to send and receive information to each other in a secure way. As a result, Pharmacies, physician offices, primary care sites and other health facilities can exchange PIN information - even though they use different local systems.

Medication Profile

Provides available medication data from multiple sources, including drug name, dosage, and dispense information (dispensing pharmacy and their contact information, and date of dispense), as well as allergy and intolerance information. For more information view the ANP Quick Reference, Navigate the CDV Medication Profile. This document is a navigation guide to the CDV Medication Profile which also covers multiple ULIs, error messages and the Medprofile Viewer Report.

Provincial Provider Registry

A centralized source of truth within Alberta Health (AH) concerning all healthcare providers who interact with the healthcare system.

Pharmacy Vendor System

An application that is used within pharmacies for the management of patient medication profiles and has an interface with Alberta Netcare.