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With the Covid-19 pandemic most people will have heard of the terms “telehealth”, “televisit” or “teladoc” if not had their own visits with providers via these types of services.

But most people have never thought about the term “telepharmacy”.

For most people pharmacies are the brick and mortar buildings like Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, or their local corner drugstore. Pharmacies are the places where their prescriptions are filled and questions about medications or how they are
feeling are answered. There always has to be a building to house these fine folks who work there.

 

But what happens when remote or rural areas don’t have access to a pharmacist. What happens when the lines to talk to a pharmacy staff member is “8 calls ahead of you”.
Well everyone that’s where the world of “telepharmacy” was born and what it was developed for.

But what happens when remote or rural areas don’t have access to a pharmacist.  What happens when the lines to talk to a pharmacy staff member is “8 calls ahead of you”. 

Well everyone that’s where the world of “telepharmacy” was born and what it was developed for.

 

The National Association for the Boards of Pharmacy defines “telepharmacy” as: “The provision of pharmaceutical care through the use of telecommunications and information technologies to patients at a distance.”  But what does that really mean to me as a patient? 

Well to put it simply, that means that you may be at point A (the pharmacy) and your pharmacist may be at point B (a call center, central fill pharmacy, or just another pharmacy in that business group). You still have access to see and talk to them via phone or video means and they still get to provide the quality care that you deserve but just from another location.

 

With the advances in technology pharmacists don’t have to be just a phone call away, they join the ranks of other healthcare professionals who can provide video conferencing sessions. There is even a big cherry to place on top of that; the technology and telehealth platforms can be as easy as the push of a button for the patient to connect with the pharmacist!

The future of pharmacy just expanded. No longer does every pharmacy have to have an onsite pharmacist. This allows for pharmacists to help share work loads with each other and to help reach more patients.

 

“Telepharmacy” is also a key to help open the door to allow pharmacists to focus on clinical activities like: optimizing patient’s medication therapies, providing more in depth patient consultations, and therapeutic monitoring of specific patient conditions and medication levels.

 

So in closing as your new “telepharmacist” I welcome you to my “pharmacy waiting room” wherever you are and say: Hello, how can I help you today?!

 

So until next time, have a great day!

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