Participating in a PSN



Responsibilities of PSN members

  • Support the PSN by asking questions and responding to queries
  • Use message etiquette (see below)
  • Complete surveys to assess the overall operations of the PSNs (see Conducting Surveys and Research section)

Message Composition

  • Do your own homework first. The PSN is a resource to use after you have done your literature search. An occasional request for help with presentations, protocols or teaching materials is permitted; do not use the PSN as your first or sole source for planning.
  • State your question early in the message. Ideally, phrase your question along the lines of a well-built clinical question using PICO (Patient/Population/Problem, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome). (The following website is one of the many that provides helpful information in this regard:
  • Be clear and concise. Use point form to ease reading, where possible.
  • Do not request information that would be unduly taxing for others to provide.
  • If the message originator receives several responses directly, it is helpful to compile a summary of responses that is then posted in the PSN so everyone can benefit.
  • Do not advertise any employment opportunities or recruit membership in other associations. In most cases, the posting of advertisements for employment is not permitted via the PSN; this includes the postings for student jobs, residency programs and fellowships. The one exception to this practice is the ‘recruitment for volunteers or international aid’. If you would like to post such a recruitment advertisement, please contact the PSN Administrator to request approval of the posting. There are no guarantees that the request will be approved.
  • To avoid potential concerns regarding fixing fees for services, please refrain from discussions that include specific fees or reimbursement.
  • Use caution when questions about formulary policy decisions arise.
  • All messages should be signed with the member’s full name. Practice site information is preferred but not mandatory.

Conflict of Interest

  • Be mindful of perceived conflict of interest. All PSN messages must follow the CSHP Conflict of Interest Policy. No messages may be sent for personal financial gain. When in doubt, consult the PSN Chair before sending the email.

Message Etiquette

Knowing your Audience

  • Remember the audience of the post is as large as the PSN, or potentially larger as content of PSN messages might be shared with other persons who may not be members of the PSN.
  • Do not use the PSN for personal messages. Refrain from including personal “chat” or jokes and from sending messages that do not contain relevant information.
  • When responding to a message, carefully consider in advance if a private response to the message originator or a post visible to the entire group is most appropriate.
  • Remember that your response will be visible to all members of the PSN and that the PSN may include persons from non-hospital practice settings such as academia, industry and community.
  • Be mindful that it is difficult to interpret tone through email. Always re-read your message before posting to minimize misunderstood intent by others.

Confidentiality (organization and personal)

  • Comply with the federal and provincial laws of privacy and patient confidentiality.
  • Consider obtaining the consent of the person prior to releasing his or her information. Depending on the information shared, a reader might still be able to identify the person, without the person’s name or initials. If you feel that the person may still be recognizable, you can send the question to the PSN chair for them to post anonymously on your behalf.
  • Include only relevant de-identified personal data.
  • All emails and any attachment(s) transmitted via the PSN are directed in confidence solely to the addressee(s) and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. The information may not otherwise be distributed, copied, or disclosed.


  • Respect copyright ownership. For Canadian copyright laws please refer to the federal Copyright Act
  • If you plan to share information with a PSN or from the PSN messages, you should obtain permission in advance from the people who provided the information.
  • Comply with the terms of use for a specific journal that publishes an article that you would like to distribute. Do not assume that an open access journal allows for distribution of PDF copies of articles.
  • Provide a concise summary of the source (e.g., published paper), properly reference the source of the material, and include the URL to the website, if available.
  • Do not attach a paper for discussion or information without first obtaining permission.

Partnering with Other Organizations

A PSN shall not initiate or respond to communication with external organizations without prior approval by the CSHP CEO or the Executive Committee.

CSHP can facilitate PSNs working with external groups in forging partnerships when the need is identified. Please contact the Chief Pharmacy Officer to express that need to CSHP Executive.

CSHP can advocate on behalf of the PSNs at the national and provincial political and professional forums. If a PSN identifies a need for advocacy, please contact the Chief Pharmacy Officer.


A PSN cannot endorse publications or programs. PSNs are expected to follow CSHP’s Endorsement Policy when an individual or organization requests that the PSN endorse a publication or program.

PSN members must follow CSHP’s PSN Representation Policy and the PSN Endorsement Policy when representation is requested or endorsement of guidelines/papers is requested of the PSN.

If a PSN is approached by an organization to endorse guidelines, the PSN must forward the request to CSHP's Chief Pharmacy Officer. PSNs may be asked by CSHP to review documents or guidelines when CSHP has been asked for an endorsement.