As the pharmacist role continues to evolve — from one focused on filling prescriptions to one that
centers on building relationships with patients and collaborating with other members of the caregiving team — so evolves the way they interact with patients and doctors. It is, of course, impossible for pharmacists to be everywhere they are needed at once. But often it seems the demands of the position call for exactly that. This is where telepharmacy can be an enormous help. Let’s first define exactly what telepharmacy is and then take a look at the many benefits for patients, pharmacies, and physicians.
What is telepharmacy?
According to the National Association of Boards Pharmacy (NABP) telepharmacy is defined as “the provision of pharmaceutical care through the use of telecommunications and information technologies to patients at a distance.” What this means in practicality is that an offsite pharmacy team can collaborate and consult with another pharmacy team, or patients and doctors, at a central site through audio and video technology. A patient’s records can be shared electronically and staff can work within connected pharmacy information systems to help provide services remotely.
Benefits for patients
For patients, telepharmacy operations provide an obvious benefit in the simple convenience of not having to be physically present to receive services from their pharmacy or pharmacist. But patients also benefit from an increase in the quality of their healthcare overall, as pharmacy staff can collaborate more freely to ensure recommended prescriptions are accurate and that those prescriptions are filled correctly. This easy collaboration wasn’t always possible, especially in the case of emergency seaffrvices or operations in rural areas where physical access to pharmacies is limited.
Benefits for pharmacies and physicians
There are also many benefits for healthcare providers. Pharmacies can expand and maximize their reach to increase prescription sales as well as provide more convenient and easier patient access to a pharmacist and pharmacy services.
For pharmacists, telepharmacy has the added benefit of bringing together a diverse team of pharmacy professionals with extensive training in different specialties and with different levels of experience. This affords team members a unique opportunity to increase their knowledge by learning from their peers. In addition, the growing popularity of telepharmacy practices has opened more job opportunities and enabled pharmacists to have an even greater impact as a valuable member of a caregiving team.
For doctors, telepharmacy operations make collaborating with pharmacists easier and in turn allows them to provide better care for their patients. A physician with virtual access to the pharmacist can make sure patients are adherent when they are filling their prescriptions, which leads to better care and higher ratings for the physician.
The many advantages of telepharmacy operations are increasingly making it an important part of delivering quality healthcare to communities everywhere. As this trend continues, patients, pharmacies, and doctors will all continue to reap the benefits. Discover ScriptPro’s Telepharmacy solution, allowing pharmacists to connect with their patients anytime, anywhere.