Sunday, September 7, 2008

Do You Know About Telepharmacies?

This is a new one for me. I live in a big city so I've never really thought about this. But for many who live in isolated rural areas, you'll want to read this Houston Chronicle news article, "Telepharmacies change the way rural America gets meds." Here are the key points that I get out of this article . . .

  1. Telepharmacies are real drug stores staffed mostly by registered pharmacy technicians or registered nurses
  2. They're in North Dakota, and a handful of other states
  3. The workflow can go something like this, "The pharmacy technicians use remote cameras to show pharmacists [at another location] the original signed prescription, computer-generated label, stock bottle where the pills are stored and the bottle the patient will take home. Once the prescription is approved, patients have a mandatory private consultation with pharmacists through real-time video and audio."

In a nutshell, getting medications by mail is no longer the only option in some places; telepharmacies can make it possible for patients to interact with real people in a real drug store setting, even though a pharmacist isn't on-site.

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