Pharmacy In The Era Of Telehealth
Telehealth has become a reality in modern times.
The new era of telehealth offers numerous benefits for patients and healthcare professionals alike.
With this new era becoming normal in our lives, pharmacists have a significant role to play.
They are key players in setting up telemedicine in healthcare and ensuring patients understand this advancement.
This guide will explain telehealth and the pharmacy's role in telehealth.
What Is Telehealth?
Telehealth is the delivery of medical or healthcare services via telecommunications technologies – including audio, video, and data.
The primary aim of telehealth is to improve the quality of care at lower costs.
It effectively improves access to healthcare for individuals or populations who otherwise would not have it.
For example, you can only travel short distances because of your medical condition.
In this case, you can benefit from virtual appointments provided by a pharmacist who lives far away but has access to telemedicine technology such as video conferencing software.
Stats On Telemedicine
Telehealth is predicted to be used by 43% of the US population by 2025.
94% of patients who've used telehealth services in the past year would want to use them again.
What Is The Role Of Pharmacy In The Era Of Telehealth?
As telehealth becomes more prevalent in our society, the role of pharmacies and pharmacists also expands.
Let's look at how pharmacists benefit from telehealth:
Pharmacists Have A Lot To Offer
Pharmacists are well-positioned to help patients with chronic diseases who may benefit from telehealth.
Further, they also assist patients with vulnerable populations—such as the elderly or young children—who may not have access to ongoing care when their conditions change unexpectedly.
Pharmacists Can Practice At Their Top Level
Telehealth allows pharmacists to practice at their top level, taking advantage of their clinical knowledge and patient relationships.
Traditionally, pharmacists have provided services to patients in a brick-and-mortar pharmacy setting.
With telehealth, these same services can now be delivered remotely.
In this way, telehealth offers patients and pharmacists greater flexibility in scheduling appointments and visiting multiple locations during the day.
Pharmacists Can Partner With Other Professionals
Pharmacists can partner with other professionals in providing healthcare through telemedicine.
They are the experts in medications and how they work, including what interactions may occur when multiple medications are taken together.
Pharmacists have training in
- Interacting with patients,
- Communicating with doctors and other pharmacists, and
- Communicating with patients about their medication regimens.
Furthermore, pharmacists often have experience working as part of multidisciplinary teams that include physicians or nurses.
They can help ensure that the correct medications reach the correct patient at the right time by coordinating pharmacy dispensing functions across locations.
Pharmacists Can Expand Their Horizon
Pharmacists can now offer a wide range of services beyond dispensing medication and filling prescriptions.
Telehealth services allow pharmacists to expand their scope of practice.
Telehealth allows them to provide additional healthcare services, such as:
- Disease management programs
- Patient education
These services improve patient outcomes and help reduce costs for the patient and the insurance provider.
When the healthcare industry is under enormous pressure to deliver better care at lower costs, telemedicine has emerged as one of the most promising ways to achieve this goal.
There's a whole world of possibilities for how pharmacies can use telemedicine technologies - and it all starts by thinking outside the box.
Related Post: Telemedicine: A New Frontier for Public Health
Jenny Blake is the founder of Pivot Method, a growth strategy company that helps forward-thinking individuals and organizations map what’s next through scalable Pivot programs. Her motto: if change is the only constant, let's get better at it. Jenny is an international keynote speaker, and the author of Pivot: The Only Move That Matters is Your Next One, which won the Axiom Best Business Books award in the careers category. After 5 years at Google in coaching, training, and career development, Jenny pivoted to running her own business in New York City in 2011.