(1) Information concerning an original prescription or information concerning a prescription refill for a legend drug may be electronically communicated between an authorized practitioner and a pharmacy of the patient's choice with no intervening person having access to the prescription drug order pursuant to the provisions of this chapter if the electronically communicated prescription information complies with the following:
(a) Electronically communicated prescription information must comply with all applicable statutes and rules regarding the form, content, recordkeeping, and processing of a prescription or order for a legend drug;
(b) The system used for transmitting electronically communicated prescription information and the system used for receiving electronically communicated prescription information must be approved by the commission. This subsection does not apply to currently used facsimile equipment transmitting an exact visual image of the prescription. The commission shall maintain and provide, upon request, a list of systems used for electronically communicating prescription information currently approved by the commission;
(c) An explicit opportunity for practitioners must be made to indicate their preference on whether or not a therapeutically equivalent generic drug or interchangeable biological product may be substituted. This section does not limit the ability of practitioners and pharmacists to permit substitution by default under a prior-consent authorization;
(d) Prescription drug orders are confidential health information, and may be released only to the patient or the patient's authorized representative, the prescriber or other authorized practitioner then caring for the patient, or other persons specifically authorized by law to receive such information;
(e) To maintain confidentiality of prescription records, the electronic system shall have adequate security and systems safeguards designed to prevent and detect unauthorized access, modification, or manipulation of these records. The pharmacist in charge shall establish or verify the existence of policies and procedures which ensure the integrity and confidentiality of prescription information transmitted to the pharmacy by electronic means. All managers, employees, and agents of the pharmacy are required to read, sign, and comply with the established policies and procedures; and
(f) The pharmacist shall exercise professional judgment regarding the accuracy, validity, and authenticity of the prescription drug order received by way of electronic transmission, consistent with federal and state laws and rules and guidelines of the commission.
(2) The electronic or digital signature of the prescribing practitioner's agent on behalf of the prescribing practitioner for a resident in a long-term care facility or hospice program, pursuant to a valid order and authorization under RCW 18.64.550
, constitutes a valid electronic communication of prescription information. Such an authorized signature and transmission by an agent in a long-term care facility or hospice program does not constitute an intervening person having access to the prescription drug order.
(3) The commission may adopt rules implementing this section.