Telepharmacy opportunities: New horizons in patient care

February 15, 2011

Telepharmacy is still a novelty, and there is a lag in implementation of new laws after professional and technological innovations are deployed.

Key Points

Telepharmacy relates to the operation of a remote site located at a significant distance from the "home pharmacy." The remote site is staffed by trained nonpharmacist personnel and serves as a pharmacy and a convenient meeting point for patients in isolated areas who do not have easy access to a pharmacist. In other words, the remote site serves as a surrogate for the home pharmacy, while the pharmacist is still able to interact with the patient and provide healthcare.

How it works

When a patient comes to the remote site, a prescription is processed using technology that provides the pharmacist with visual access to the prescription itself as well as to the drug product as it moves through the fulfillment process. Once the prescription has been filled, the pharmacist communicates with the patient by video feed and provides appropriate clinical counseling. The trained nonpharmacist staffer assists the process by ensuring that the technology supporting the fulfillment of the prescription is functioning properly. In addition, the staffer assists the pharmacist and patient by enabling the communication through the video feed at the remote site.