Telepharmacy Reaching More Patients
Published: Tuesday, 06 September 2016 13:53
Simplified logistics and lower cost have motivated interest in telehealth for years. Today firms such as Doctor on Demand, American Well, MDLive and Health Tap offer telehealth services. While two providers have ceased operations over the past year (Better and Healthspot), the expansion of telehealth services nationwide steadily continues.
Telepharmacy has seen parallel growth. This was the case in rural Idaho-when the only pharmacist in the town of Arco retired. Answer? A telepharmacy solution developed by the Idaho State University Foundation and deployed during 2015.
Adventist Health operates TelepharmacyWest for rural hospital settings, and eighty-one pharmacies are involved in the North Dakota Telepharmacy Project (NDTP), which reaches an estimated 80,000 rural citizens - now including those in Arco.
Services provided by telepharmacy can be restricted to certain types of care, but in systems such as the NDTP, all services- drug utilization review, prescription verification, patient counseling- are technically feasible on most platforms via a live video and voice connection with a pharmacist.
The North Dakota project is expected to grow. Recently the Iowa PressCitizen reported that state legislators have introduced a bill that would make approval of telepharmacies routine, going beyond limited pilot tests.
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