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What's happening with PrescribeIT?

In the last month I have attended two pharmacy conferences. I was shocked by the number of people who approached me to mention they read everything I blog about here and on my LinkedIn page.

My blog is written in my personal capacity and not in my capacity as an employee of Neighbourly Pharmacy, or as a board member or committee member of any organization I am a part of.

Let me begin with an apology. I didn’t mean to go on hiatus with my writing here. I sat in front of my keyboard with good intentions many times, but without being able to come up with the correct words to convey my disappointment in myself for not making any progress with PrescribeIT. I absolutely detest letting down the pharmacists and pharmacy owners who lent me their support to try and take up a direct discussion with Canada Health Infoway (“Infoway”) on their behalf regarding the End User License Agreement (“EULA”) that pharmacies have been asked to enter. From the start, I made no promises regarding results, but I did truly believe I would be able to engage in direct discussions based on the supportive responses I received from over 550 pharmacies. I believed Infoway would not simply dismiss a grassroots movement, but I was wrong and I felt like I let you down.

All along, I’ve supported of the concept of e-prescribing and moving away from faxes. I only questioned the fairness of the EULA. I’ve taken considerable time to review the projects that Canada Health Infoway is involved with toward innovative digital health solutions, and I support their vision and mission.

In fact, last fall I saw that Infoway was searching for a board member from western Canada. While I have no formal training in the areas of expertise they were highlighting as attributes, I did feel my decades of real-world experience made me quite conversant in those areas and I therefore submitted my application with the understanding I would not be able to bring any specific agenda to the board. I was hoping to lend my experience to the board discussions. However, I was not called for an interview.

In January, I emailed the executive vice president of Infoway requesting a meeting regarding the EULA on behalf of over 550 pharmacies whose owners took the time to email me or fax me. I received no response whatsoever to that email request for meeting, and I felt defeated.

I completely understand there are many excellent candidates in Canada with better credentials than me who may have applied for the board position, but I can’t reasonably accept why Infoway would dismiss my invitation to open a discussion with me when I let them know I had received responses from so many pharmacists and pharmacies. It’s hard not to think a similar email would not have been dismissed if it was being sent on behalf of a corporate entity or provincial or national organization.

So, what has transpired that I am finally able to share my disappointment with you now?

In the last month I have attended two pharmacy conferences. I was shocked by the number of people who approached me to mention they read everything I blog about here and on my LinkedIn page. So many of them asked me for an update on PrescribeIT. I came away from those encounters knowing I needed to get past my own disappointment. What I came to realize is that Infoway not only let me down but let all of you who responded to my call for support down as well. It is to you that I apologize for not being able to move this file forward.

It was so great to network with colleagues during the spring conference season. Besides requests for updates on PrescribeIT, at almost every turn, I was asked about how my work life has changed from being “the boss” to working for @Neighbourly Pharmacy, especially with an American now at the helm. Watch for my next blog post to read how I answered this question.

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