Executive of the Drug Information System and in

Executive Summary

Nova Scotia provides a province-wide system of
drug information for its population. The drug information system
is expected, in the fullness of time, to contain a one-stop system of
comprehensive medication profile for each person who is able to obtain a
prescription filled in a community pharmacy in the province of Nova Scotia. The
medication profile will capture important information filled by patients and
related information for example allergies. A drug information system serves to
keep vital information regarding prescriptions prescribed to the people of Nova
Scotia and this tends to allow authorized health providers access medication
profile of the population and in the circumstances contribute add further
medical information. Efficient and timely access to medication profile as and
when required at any given place enables healthcare providers to come up with
working solutions about the health of their patients. The Drug Information
System is authorized to healthcare providers subject to the provisions of Nova
Scotia’s Personal Health Information Act. As mentioned above, the scope and
jurisdiction of the Drug Information System and in general the personal Health
Information applies within the Province of Nova Scotia. It remains to be seen
how effective the Drug Information system is in as far as increasing the
quality and safety of patient care is still concerned in the province of Nova
Scotia. At the same time, a centralized and one-stop system of information is
desirable, its overall efficacy should be measured against real and measured
impact directly attributed to the information system without isolating the
issue of privacy. Until that happens, the information system will have failed
to live up to its expectation and will in the circumstances be another scam of
government bureaucracy with no real impact on the populations concerned.

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This paper makes attempts to appraise the
overall impact of The Drug Information System implemented in the province of
Nova Scotia and how best to maximize system access of such information to
healthcare providers. Essentially, the paper seeks to understand how best
health care providers can use such information without compromising the privacy
of patients as provided under the Personal Health Information Act. In light of
the above, the primary objective is to investigate the effectiveness of the
drug information system in improving and increasing safety and care of Nova
Scotia Population without necessarily compromising the privacy of patients.


The jurisdictional scan employs critical
interpretive synthesis. This involves a systematic survey of grey and published
literature concerning the issue of jurisdictional scans (Department of Health
and Wellness). Literature survey gives a response to purposes and benefits of
programs designed to detail medical information of populations to health care
providers. This is in addition to stating the applicable legislation regulating
access and use of such information. It goes further to mention the kind of
information that is fed to the system and the purposes for which such information
is collected, used and disclosed (Leanne, Yardley, Powell, & Susan, 2012).
As far as privacy is concerned, the survey of the literature can show the
extent towards which the information is accessible to healthcare providers and
whether individuals can elect to have their personal information collected and
if they can block particular uses or disclosures.

Data extraction is also employed to analyze the
level towards which information available in the systems is being used by
healthcare providers. Data extracted is able to show the number of patients
whose medical information is already captured and available in the system. This
is in addition to sampling data to find out at what intervals do those
concerned with the system update new information. This is in recognition of the
fact that new information keep popping up and someone somewhere needs to keep
the system up to date with the very latest medical information of patients.

The jurisdictional scan further makes use of
concept mapping as a method of study. It maps the benefits, limitations, roles
and methodologies of data collection including but not limited to data search,
website search, text review and other relevant articles. Prince Edward Island
is selected as jurisdiction to study for the main reason is that it has the
same jurisdictional and administrative comparisons to Nova Scotia. Both Nova
Scotia and Prince Edward Island are provinces within the Canadian
administrative and governance structure. As such, the two are legally and
operationally recognized as provinces and are, therefore, structurally
administered and governed in the same manner.

Application of the above methods makes it
possible to strategically discern grey literature to review by web sourcing
electronic sources of information from other regions and drawing comparisons to
the policy problem identified at the onset of this paper. There is a
wealth of literature concerning the issues that this study seeks to address.
However, it is apparent that the existing literature has focused on the subject
of healthcare in general. There is apparent scarcities as one narrows down to
specific issues that need to be addressed and relooked, at the policy level, in
order to ensure that an efficient and cost-effective collection and
dissemination of medical information is provided. It is noteworthy to note that
a vast number of literature ignore the ensuing consequences of an open free for
all date centre for patients. In this case, little attention is paid to the
implications of keeping data and the resulting fears of infringement of
people’s privacy. The jurisdictional scan, therefore, seeks to contribute to
the informational gap that exists with regard to the adequacy and inadequacy of
the existing legal, policy and institutional framework regulating collection,
efficacy and maintenance of The Drug Information system in Nova Scotia.


Whilst it is true that Prince Edward Island
faces myriad of healthcare challenges; it is not lost to observers that the
Island has in recent past registered remarkable success in the development of
its healthcare system. In this case, the strength of the Island’s healthcare
system lies in the dozens of its dedicated and committed healthcare providers.
This similarity is shared with Nova Scotia. Policy makers in the health sector
of both provinces each make routine daily efforts to ensure that the health
care provided meets the qualitative test. Secondly, the two provinces have, in
the last few years, implemented drug information system that is primarily
helpful in providing e-prescription to patients. Recording and keeping of
medical reports is a mandatory legislative requirement under the Pharmaceutical
Information Act. There no known legal requirement to electronically keep
medications of patients in Nova Scotia. Its main purpose is to enable
healthcare providers to provide better medical services from an informed point
of view.

In both provinces, the drug information system
connects physicians and pharmacists. That way, a doctor e-prescribes the
medical information and feeds in the drug information system (Gillian, Robert,
& Steve, 2010). The patient then goes to the pharmacist where the
medication is retrieved online. This significantly reduces the chances of the
patient distorting drug information in the event that the same is portable in a
piece of paper.

Privacy in the drug information system of both
provinces is legislatively protected. For the case of Prince Edward Island, the
Pharmaceutical Information Act is
designed to allow only authorized healthcare providers to access the
information. This is in addition to the requirement that they fill and sign a
confidentiality form. The Personal Information Act of 2013 regulates privacy
and access to medical information in Nova Scotia. One point of departure
between Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island is the latter’s lack of an
operating room information system that can support strategic bookings.

From the above, it appears that there are many
points of convergence than divergence in as far as the utility of drug
information system is concerned in the two provinces. The similarities in the
use and application of the two sets of drug information outweigh the
differences (Lomas, Woods, & Veenstra, 1997). Essentially, the provinces
appear to have benchmarked much from each other and this is informed mainly by
a national theme to efficiently administer prescription and medication of
drugs. The overall desire has been to ensure that patient’s end up getting
proper medical care free from distortions long associated with complex paper

Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia are merely
administrative structures that rely almost exclusively on the happenings in
other provinces to make interdependent and related policy goals. It then
follows that it is only natural for the two provinces to train their foresight
in almost similar policy goals. It is on this basis that the two provinces drug
information system mirrors each other almost entirely.

In conclusion, the jurisdiction scan developed
from a point of strengths and limitations. Strengths involve systemic
methodology and an integrated strategy of evidence sourced from a wide range of
sources. The nature of the jurisdictional scan hereinabove makes it susceptible
to many limitations. Of prominence is conducting searches without necessarily
mapping them to subject headings. The next concern is the issue of the selected
jurisdiction being an island while Nova Scotia is not. Lastly, the two
provinces have advanced and developed systems of drug information that largely
mirror each other. In sum, there is a need for actionable policy actions and
policy interventions to enhance overall delivery of healthcare.