Although it may take a few extra minutes when picking up prescriptions, patients will still have full access to the medications they require from their pharmacy. The introduction of time-delayed safes is another tool to support the security of medications and to help ensure medications are dispensed to patients only.
A time-delayed safe has an electronic timer that prevents access until a pre-set period of time has elapsed after the correct combination has been entered. The province-wide use of time-delayed safes has proven to be an effective robbery deterrent in other jurisdictions such as British Columbia and Alberta.
Community pharmacies remain an accessible and safe space for patients’ healthcare needs. The introduction of time-delayed safes is another tool to support pharmacies in providing safe, quality care to their patients.
Thieves rely on getting in and out of the pharmacy quickly and knowing that narcotics are secured in time-delayed safes is a strong deterrent. The purpose of time-delayed safes and prominent signage indicating a time-delayed safe is in use, is to deter thieves from entering the pharmacy at all. Other jurisdictions that have implemented similar mandates saw an immediate decrease in pharmacy robberies, and the goal is to achieve a similar outcome in Ontario.
All community pharmacies in Ontario will be using time-delayed safes. In addition, signs will be displayed at each public entrance to the pharmacy and in the dispensary (where patients drop off and pick up prescriptions). These signs indicate to the public that time-delayed safes are in use.