Adoption of telepharmacy within a community health center: a focus on clinical pharmacy services. Journal of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy 4, no. 8 (2021): 924-933.
Authors: McCarthy, Caitlin, M. Thomas Bateman Jr, Tyler Henderson, Ronald Jean, and Rachael Evans.
Due to the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, telehealth has shifted from an underutilized service to a medical necessity almost overnight. While guidelines are available regarding implementation of telepharmacy services, there is limited practice-level evidence demonstrating successful adoption of telepharmacy for the delivery of clinical pharmacy services.
The purpose of this article is to provide a description of how telehealth has been utilized to deliver pharmacy services within a Community Health Center (CHC), to discuss the impact of telehealth services, and to provide a framework by which other entities may create successful telehealth programs within the ambulatory care setting.
Overall CHC productivity, clinical pharmacist productivity, and patient demographics were compared between the 7 months preceding and the 7 months after implementation of telehealth services. Patient satisfaction with telehealth was measured via anonymous surveys administered via Feedtrail XM and provider satisfaction was measured via a survey created by the New Jersey Primary Care Association.
Telepharmacy has caused a shift in the demographics of patients receiving pharmacy services, increasing the proportion of patients with private insurance, who were 65 years or older, and who were non-English speakers. While overall productivity at the CHC remained stable, the number of clinical pharmacy encounters increased. Patients were satisfied with telepharmacy visits indicating that they were of the same or greater quality than in-person visits and expressed a preference to continue telepharmacy visits in the future.
Our results suggest that telepharmacy is an effective way to deliver care particularly around chronic conditions. To be sustainable, telehealth requires ongoing support from local, State, and Federal agencies in terms of maintaining regulations around expanded scopes of practice and in terms of reimbursement.
were able to identify and resolve interventions which subsequently resulted in statistically significant reductions observed in the primary diabetes endpoint and high levels of satisfaction with care.