Is telepharmacy safe? Does telepharmacy take pharmacists’ jobs? We’re here to address and debunk the top 4 telepharmacy concerns.
“Is telepharmacy safe for patients?”
Telepharmacy is a safe practice of pharmacy, and has been proven to have a significantly lower dispensing error rate than traditional pharmacies. According to studies conducted in North Dakota from 2005-2008, community telepharmacies produced lower medication error rates than traditional community pharmacies. This is due to the accountable, well-documented workflow that telepharmacy technology provides.
Advances in modern technology allow telepharmacy software to ensure the highest level of safety and security for both patients and providers. TelePharm puts safety first by implementing multiple built-in redundant checks, hard-halt workflows and HIPAA-compliant security. In addition, our “smart queues” set us apart from the pack by allowing the pharmacist to focus on each patient—and their medication regimen—as they come in. Smart queues enable pharmacists to easily navigate their workload without getting overwhelmed.
While some still use inefficient live-video verification solutions, a photo-documented workflow helps decrease medication errors while optimizing productivity. Interactive live-video counseling sessions are more private than speaking with a pharmacist at a pharmacy counter, and through telepharmacy, pharmacists become more available for everyday medication questions.
“Telepharmacy is taking pharmacists’ jobs”
Telepharmacy increases opportunities for pharmacists by expanding their reach to medically underserved areas. With increased access to a pharmacist comes decreased time to start therapy, increased first-fill adherence and increased refill adherence. Not only can telepharmacies capture more prescriptions, but by increasing access to a pharmacist , we also increase the number of clinical tasks and consultations a pharmacist can complete which, in turn, creates more jobs.
Telepharmacy provides more opportunities for pharmacists to be included as an integral part of the patient-care team. It increases interactions with patients which further establishes the pharmacist as a trusted provider. When patients see the value a pharmacist adds to their overall care, they begin to request these services more and thus increase the demand for pharmacists. Patients that otherwise wouldn’t have access to immunizations, CMRs, etc. can now start scheduling clinical meetings with a pharmacist. Additionally, telepharmacy expands the role of the technician.
“Can I offer clinical services at a telepharmacy?”
Every pharmacy is different, but with telepharmacy, you can set up your workflow in order to offer even more clinical services than a traditional pharmacy. Telepharmacy helps pharmacists practice at the top of their license, working one-on-one with patients to expand clinical services like immunizations.
[Trend] Hybrid telepharmacy model
A trend in telepharmacy is a combination business model dubbed the, “hybrid telepharmacy model.” The hybrid model combines the staffing of a traditional pharmacy with that of a telepharmacy. For example: schedule a pharmacist to be on-site 3 days a week (traditional) and have them verifying prescriptions from a remote location the other 2-3 days a week (telepharmacy). This is a great way to expand clinical offerings in your pharmacy, especially during flu season.
“Is telepharmacy a risky investment compared to a traditional pharmacy?”
From a financial perspective, opening a telepharmacy is less risky than opening a traditional pharmacy because your break-even point is lower than that of a traditional pharmacy. With telepharmacy, you’re able to operate with lower monthly costs by sharing the pharmacist across multiple stores.
Fun fact: we’ve never had a customer close a telepharmacy and we have a 100% retention rate.
Do you have any concerns surrounding telepharmacy solutions? Leave a comment below and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.