The hospital pharmacy as a key actor in safety and providing cost-effective medicines and medical devices for inpatients and outpatients. Face increasing pressure to look for new ideas and methods to do so. IT technology will affect pharmacy and medication use systems. Telepharmacy is the delivery of pharmaceutical care via telecommunications to patients in locations where they may not have direct contact with a pharmacist. Telepharmacy services include drug therapy monitoring, patient counselling, prior authorisation for prescription drugs and monitoring of formulary compliance with the aid of teleconferencing or videoconferencing. Remote dispensing of medications by automated packaging and labelling systems, the cabinet medicines used after-hours pharmacy access, can also be thought of an instance of telepharmacy. Telepharmacy services can be delivered at retail pharmacy sites or through a hospital pharmacy. The implementation of telepharmacy varies by region and jurisdiction. Factors including geographical laws, the regulations and economic influence affect its implementation. Let us look at the North Dakota Telepharmacy Project which was established in 2002 to restore, retain, or establish pharmacy services in medically underserved rural communities through the use of telepharmacy technology.
The benefits and disadvantages of telepharmacy should be considered when assessing whether to upgrade patient services. Patients who live in remote locations or who are homebound or just can't take time off from work can access care virtually. Video conferencing, smartphone apps and online management systems connect more patients with providers than ever before.
But what about the direct contact with a hospital pharmacist and adherence to pharmacotherapy? And what about vulnerable groups such as elderly or young patients? And what about the computerbased medical records? As they can be hacked, illegally downloaded, lost in a crash, etc.
Learning objectives After the interactive session, participants should be able to: • describe how pharmacists can use health information technologies to deliver patient care services; • list examples of mobile health technologies that pharmacists use to improve patient care; • describe practice model that use telehealth technology to deliver patients care services.
Educational need addressed Hospital pharmacists should be aware of challenges which are created and provoked by the new IT technologies.
Keywords: telemedicine, telepharmacy, problem solving, regulations, after-hours pharmacy access, IT technology, telecommunication.