Pharmaceutical Information Program (PIP) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q 1    What is the Pharmaceutical Information Program (PIP)?

The Pharmaceutical Information Program, also known as PIP, is a secure computer system that contains information about a patient’s prescribed and dispensed medications. PIP is used by authorized healthcare providers in their treatment and decision-making process. PIP adds to the quality, safety and management of health care in Saskatchewan.

PIP is accessible via an online website (https://pip.ehealthsask.ca). Now you can have PIP directly within your EMR.

Q 2    How will doctors, health providers and pharmacists benefit from PIP?

PIP provides transparency across the continuum of care by allowing all health care providers access to patient information regardless of where in Saskatchewan they seek health care services. More specifically, having access to their patients' drug history will help physicians and other health care providers make the best possible decisions on drug therapy, such as selecting the best medication, avoiding drug interactions, and avoiding duplications of therapy.

Prior to the introduction of PIP, there was no centralized, complete source of prescription records for health care providers to use when making decisions about a patient’s drug therapy. PIP ensures that individuals and their health care providers have the information needed to make optimal drug therapy decisions.

Q 3    What information is provided in PIP?

The last 25 months of medication filled and dispensed at a pharmacy is included in a PIP Profile. Some over the counter medications will be provided if a physician or pharmacist has manually entered this information into PIP. Likewise, allergy information will also be available if a physician or pharmacist has manually entered this information into PIP. 

Oncology medications and medications administered in the hospital will not be included in a patient’s PIP profile.

Q 4    What is a JSAP and does each user need one for PIP or can we share by clinic?

A JSAP is a Joint Services Access Policy (JSAP). A JSAP exists for all eHealth Saskatchewan integrated services including PIP, electronic labs, and the Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS).

The purpose of the PIP JSAP is to (a) set out the responsibilities and rules of collection, use, and disclosure for User Organizations and their Users who are collecting, using and disclosing PIP Data; and (b) act as an information management services agreement between each User.

All physicians are required to sign a JSAP when signing up a PIP account. Clinic staff are not required to sign their own JSAP, but their Organization’s Approver/ Physician will need to sign one for the clinic.

Q 5    How does a Physician get a PIP account?

To get a PIP account a JSAP needs to be signed and an online request form needs to be completed. The step-by-step sign up process is detailed with screenshots in the PIP Registration Instructions (Physician) document. If you do not yet have a copy of the document, contact your SMA Change Management Advisor with the EMR Program or the EMR Program Coordinator at 306.244.2196 or emr@sma.sk.ca.

Q 6    Is a unique email address required to register for PIP?

Yes, each user must have his or her own email account in order to register for PIP. A common, shared clinic email is not an acceptable email address. If you do not yet have an email account, there are many free email services available such as Gmail, Hotmail and Outlook.com.  
Note: a PIP account is a pre-requisite to PIP to EMR integration.

Q 7    What is a PIP Approver?

A PIP Approver is an individual responsible for managing access to PIP within their organization. Approvers decide who should use PIP, what level of access each person should have, and when someone’s PIP account should be linked or unlinked to his/her organization. Organizations may have more than one Approver; however, an individual is only able be an Approver for one Organization at any given time.

Q 8    Can office personnel get a PIP account? If so, how?

Yes, an authorized health care administrator can get a PIP account. The process to register is different from that of a physician.

For an office staff member or Registered Nurse to get a PIP account a JSAP needs to be signed by the Organization’s Approver, training needs to be completed and an online request form needs to be submitted. Nurse Practitioners follow the same process as physicians (see question 5 above). The step-by-step sign up process is detailed with screenshots in the PIP Registration Instructions (Office Staff) document. If you do not yet have a copy of the document, contact your SMA Change Management Advisor with the EMR Program or the EMR Program Coordinator at 306.657.4557 or emr@sma.sk.ca.

Q 9    What is a PIP Delegate?

A PIP Delegate is a non-physician individual to whom the owner/manager or physician of the organization delegates PIP Approver responsibilities.

Q 10    Can a physician transfer the PIP Approver responsibilities to a delegate?

Yes, the physician can designate someone in his or her clinic to be the delegate approver for the clinic. The physician will need to complete the Delegate Form and send it to the eHS Service Desk.

Q 11    What happens with a delegate’s approver access when he or she resigns from the clinic?

When a delegate is no longer employed by a clinic, the clinic is required to notify eHealth Saskatchewan to remove the delegate’s approver access. The clinic will need to identify another delegate within the organization and follow the appropriate steps to become the clinic’s Approver.

PIP to Accuro EMR Frequently Asked Questions

Q 12    What is the PIP to Accuro EMR integration?

The PIP to Accuro EMR integration enables view-only access of PIP information directly from your Accuro EMR. The Accuro EMR patient’s profile contains the same a comprehensive medication record found in the PIP database.

Q 13    What are the benefits of having access to the PIP to Accuro EMR?

The integration provides more accurate patient information by supplementing the individual physician’s information with a provincial profile.  In addition, integrating PIP into Accuro eliminates the need for clinicians to sign into the PIP system thereby improving workflow, efficiency and care coordination.  

Q 14    What am I able to do with PIP to Accuro EMR Integration? 

PIP to Accuro EMR integration gives you read-only access to your patients’ PIP profiles from within your EMR, without having to sign into PIP separately. Printing PIP information or importing it in to another area of your EMR is not supported.

Q 15    Why should I integrate my EMR to PIP when I already have the EHR Viewer?

PIP to Accuro EMR is the first step towards enabling ePrescribing from your EMR. By integrating your EMR to PIP now, the process to enable ePrescribing when it becomes available will be easier and faster. PIP integration also improves clinical workflow efficiency by eliminating the need to sign in to another application – the patient’s complete medication record is accessible within the EMR.

Q 16    How do I get the PIP to Accuro EMR integration?

The PIP to Accuro EMR integration is a simple 4 step process:

  1. Register for a PIP account (if you do not yet have a PIP account). See FAQs above on how to get a PIP account for physicians & nurse practitioners or for office staff.
  2. Complete a JSAP (if you do not yet have a PIP account)
  3. Watch the Saskatchewan PIP to Accuro training video on QHR’s website here. The video is about 9 minutes long.
  4. Complete the PIP to EMR User Request Form found on the eHealth Saskatchewan website here.

Once completed, submit to the eHealth Saskatchewan Service Desk via fax: 306-781-8480 or email: servicedesk@ehealthsask.ca.

  • Note: By signing page 2 of the form you are acknowledging that you have viewed the training video (step 3).

Q 17    Can any Accuro EMR user including office staff get the PIP to Accuro EMR integration?

Yes, any PIP user with an Accuro EMR account is able to sign up for the integration. The process for office staff getting PIP to Accuro EMR is the same as a provider, as above.

Q 18    How long does the sign up process take?

Once a PIP account has been obtained, the signup process for PIP to Accuro EMR takes less than 15 minutes. Signup consists of the training video and registration form. Please see Q 16, above for specific signup steps.

Q 19    How will we know when I am going to be integrated (communication)?

Once you have completed the online training video and submitted the registration form, you will be put into queue for deployment. Your SMA EMR Program Change Management Advisor contact will contact you with a specific date of integration.

Q 20    What happens when I am integrated (day of)?

There is nothing for you to do! eHealth Saskatchewan and QHR Technologies will complete the integration, and then you will be notified by your SMA EMR Program Change Management Advisory when you can begin using the PIP module in your EMR.

Access and Provider Movement Frequently Asked Questions

Q 21    Do I require written Privacy Policies and Procedures to get the PIP to Accuro EMR integration?

Yes. Privacy policies not only reduce the risk of a privacy breach, but they are also a requirement of the CPSS Bylaw 23.2, which states physicians will ensure they have written privacy policies and   procedures.

If your clinic is a Health Region facility, the Health Region will have established these policies. If your clinic is a private practice, operated by individual physician(s), the EMR Program will work with you to establish these for your new clinic. You can contact your SMA Change Management Advisor with the EMR Program or the EMR Program Coordinator at 306.244.2196 or emr@sma.sk.ca to arrange support.

Q 22    Is there a charge for PIP or the PIP to Accuro EMR Integration?

No, there is no charge for access or use of the PIP whether it is the stand-alone interface or the PIP to Accuro EMR integration. 

Q 23    What happens with the PIP to Accuro EMR Integration when a physician moves from clinic A to clinic B?

When a physician moves from one clinic to another, he/she will need to complete a PIP to EMR User Request Form with the new clinic information. eHealth Saskatchewan will then work with the QHR Technologies to enable access at the new clinic and remove access from the old clinic.

General Questions

Q 24    Who do I contact if I have problems?

If you experience any technical issues with the integration, please contact QHR Technologies at 1.866.729.8889.

If you have signup questions, contact your SMA Change Management Advisor with the EMR Program or the EMR Program Coordinator at 306.657.4557 or emr@sma.sk.ca.

Q 25    Why do PIP profiles occasionally take a while to load?

PIP contains a large quantity of data, so profiles for some patients may take a few moments to load. eHealth Saskatchewan is working with QHR to address this and expects to have a solution in place over the summer of 2015.

Q 26    Who can I speak to if I have suggestions on how to enhance the PIP module in Accuro EMR?

Please contact the EMR vendor, QHR, with any suggestions or requests for improvements to the PIP module in Accuro EMR.

Q 27    Why do I have to change my password?

User ID and password are the primary means to authenticate/ authorize a user when accessing any information system. There has been steep increase in Cyber-attack and many of it involved compromising of user account password. So the higher the frequency of password change, the more  costly and time consuming it becomes for any attacker to compromise the user password thereby reducing the risk level of critical infrastructure such as the Health information system hosted by eHealth. Considering that the level of risk to eHealth infrastructure is high and based on security best practices, the frequency for password change for normal user is set to 90 days and that of administrator/privilege user is set to 60 days.