Telehealth Improves Access to Pharmacists

Telehealth Improves Access to Pharmacists

According to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) now rural citizens of Northwest Florida starts to getting telehealth services, as the pandemic, that is still going in the US brings new methods of diagnosis.

With the special situation (COVID-19 pandemic) health care professionals are tasked with finding alternative ways to deliver care to patients who may be vulnerable to poor health outcomes. Patients with chronic diseases are at a higher risk of acquiring COVID-19 and suffering sequela from the virus. Ambulatory care pharmacists play a vital role in chronic care management as well as MTM (medical therapy management) in the ambulatory care setting.

Ambulatory care pharmacists, student pharmacists under their supervision, and other health care professionals work closely with patients who have various complex clinical chronic conditions (eg, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia) that can present with diverse clinical symptomatology. That’s why telemedicine method is gains popular now.

Telemedicine Services

Telemedicine is the provision of healthcare services in an environment where distance is critical, by healthcare professionals using information and communication technologies to exchange relevant information for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of illness and injury, research and evaluation, and continuing education of healthcare professionals for the improvement of public health and the development of local communities.

Telemedicine spans a continuum of technologies that offer new ways to deliver care including

  • Real-time, audio-video communication tools (telehealth) that connect physicians and patients in different locations. 
  • Store-and-forward technologies that collect images and data to be transmitted and interpreted later. 
  • Remote patient-monitoring tools such as blood pressure monitors, Bluetooth-enabled digital scales and other wearable devices that can communicate biometric data for review (which may involve the use of mHealth apps). 
  • Verbal/Audio-only and virtual check-ins via patient portals, messaging technologies, etc.

CVS Health Service

Need to say that telemedicine service launched in nine states two years ago to complement the company’s retail “Minute Clinic” (by CVS) offerings.

“We’re excited to be able to bring this innovative care option to patients,” said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of CVS Health. “At CVS Health, we’re committed to delivering high-quality care when and where our patients need it and at prices they can afford. Through this new telehealth offering, patients now have an additional option for seeking care that is even more convenient for them.”

FQHC designed telehealth encounters to help patients who cannot visit a doctor in person. “The provision of iPads (Apple Inc) to patients and laptops to health care professionals that are preloaded with Zoom software (Zoom Video Communications, Inc) allows the patient a frictionless telehealth experience. The patient is only required to connect the device to their Wi-Fi network. If a patient does not have access to a Wi-Fi network, patient interviews can also be conducted via telephone,” – said in the article.

This can provide alternative ways for institutions to incorporate student pharmacists during the pandemic. “It is imperative that pharmacists, student pharmacists, and other health care professionals continue to adapt to these new technologies and familiarize themselves with the laws governing their practice to deliver the same standard of care to improve health outcomes for their patients during the pandemic,” article author summed up.

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