Telepharmacy — much like the term "telehealth" — has quickly become a popular buzzword in everyday healthcare chatter. Chances are you’ve heard of it, but don’t fully understand the concept and why it makes sense in today’s competitive pharmacy market.
So what is telepharmacy? How does telepharmacy work? Why do I need to know about telepharmacy?
Whoa there, scooter. Let's start simple. First telepharmacy is defined as, "the provision of pharmaceutical care through the use of telecommunications and information technologies to patients at a distance," according to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.
The benefits and history of telepharmacy
The ability to connect any pharmacist to any pharmacy offers patients in rural communities access to the professional care they would otherwise not receive. Additionally, telepharmacy is a safe practice of pharmacy and has been proven to have a lower dispensing error rate than traditional pharmacies.
"Telepharmacies' error rate is less than 1 percent, a 50 percent improvement over traditional practice and half the national average."
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
When telepharmacy first appeared in the early 2000s, the program was centered around a single video link between a healthcare provider and a patient. At TelePharm, we incorporate a quick, imaged-based workflow, remote verification of prescriptions, and patient counseling through a secure, high-definition live-video connection. With that said, does telepharmacy provide the same quality care you're used to at a traditional pharmacy?
“Telepharmacy services produce the same quality as the traditional mode of delivery and provide some value-added features that are not found in traditional pharmacy practice."
- Dr. Charles Peterson, Dean of the North Dakota College of Pharmacy, ND Telepharmacy Project