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Stolen or missing Controlled Prescription Pad

Could this happen to you?

Possible scenarios:

  • You’re called out of an exam room to answer an urgent phone call, leaving a client alone. When you look for your controlled prescription pad later that day, you realize it’s missing.
  • Your car is broken into and your briefcase containing your controlled prescription pad is taken.
  • You suspect your controlled prescription pad is missing pages near the back. You confirm this by checking the folio numbers and noting they’re not consecutive.

Lost CPP pad  Photo courtesy of Katherine Scrimshaw

If your controlled prescription pad is missing:

If you discover that your controlled prescription pad, or part of your pad, is missing—whether it’s lost or stolen— take these steps:  

  • Determine:
    • Which folios (numbered forms) are missing. If you are not able to do this, CRNBC has a record of the folio numbers.
    • Whether there are legitimate prescriptions not yet dispensed that will need to be replaced. 
  • Report theft or suspected theft to the police right away.
  • Call CRNBC’s Controlled prescription program staff to report the incident and get folio numbers, if necessary. 604.736.7331 (1.800.565.6505) ext. 331. Leave a message if it’s after hours.
  • Contact PharmaNet Services to report the missing folio numbers so they can initiate a fan out. Leave a message if it’s after hours.
  • Follow your employer policy for missing controlled prescription pads.
  • Reflect on the circumstances and put safeguards in place to prevent future pad losses.

If the missing controlled prescription pad contains client information:

Missing pads that contain client information not only create privacy/confidentiality issues, but may also create client safety issues. Client names and addresses may allow others to know who has controlled drugs or substances.

If any client information is contained in the missing pad, the BC Privacy Commissioner must be notified. This can be done by completing the Privacy Breach Form on the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) website.

Additional tips for keeping your controlled prescription pads secure

  • Treat your pad(s) like cash or a credit card—don’t leave them unattended or unsecured.
  • If you practice in multiple sites and have secure storage at each site, it’s preferable to have a pad at each site rather than transporting them between sites.
  • Remove and file the blue prescription copies promptly. If you scan your prescription into an electronic medical record, remove  the blue copy and keep it secure, shredding it as soon as possible.  

If you have questions or would like more information about the Controlled Prescription Program and CPP pads, contact quality@crnbc.ca.

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Home > Nursing standards > Case studies & practice resources > Being a nurse > Accountability & responsibility > Stolen or missing Controlled Prescription Pad