Telepharmacy solutions are helping to drive down pharmacy costs without negatively impacting operations and patient safety. With the right telepharmacy system in place, healthcare organizations can streamline efficiencies and deliver 24/7 pharmacy coverage, saving the hospital significant pharmacy expense when compared to hiring additional staff. Existing pharmacists are freed to contribute to clinical initiatives, expanding their reach and improving patient care and outcomes.
Telepharmacy services have been shown to effectively catch medication errors and improve medication adherence. In rural areas, remote pharmacists provide services that would not otherwise be available to the patient population.
Clearly telepharmacy is a winning formula any way you look at it. But let’s take a deeper look at telepharmacy pricing practices and how you can be sure you are getting the biggest telepharmacy bang for your buck.
Telepharmacy service providers charge for the total number of medication orders they process. It’s a practice called line counting, and how a telepharmacy services provider counts those lines can make a significant difference in the annual cost of those services.
When interviewing telepharmacy providers, ask these questions:
What is their price quote per line?
- How is a line defined and what is included in that line?
- How many lines are there in total?
Here are two examples of how line counting impacts cost and savings.
The first item to consider is the price quote per line. The lowest price per line will not necessarily deliver the greatest savings. It’s important to note how line items are defined and the total number of defined lines.
In the example above, telepharmacy provider X lists a total of 2,250 lines which is 25 percent fewer lines than provider Y. Because X consolidates line items into fewer categories, telepharmacy provider X will likely generate more savings per year, even if X’s price quote per line is higher than Y’s.
A Line Counting Exercise
How many lines will a telepharmacy service team count?
In the orders above, CPS Telepharmacy would count the new orders for Acetaminophen, Morphine, Cefazolin, Atenolol, Vancomycin and Zofran, totaling 6 lines only. This is the case because CPS Telepharmacy consolidates lines into a maximum of 2,250 total lines. CPS would not charge for the intervention to obtain the milligram dose for the Morphine, the Vancomycin dosing, or for entering data for the patient’s height, weight or allergy. And CPS would not count it if a nurse re-sent the orders more than once.
Other telepharmacy service providers might count as many as 10 lines, including the original 6 orders plus 2 interventions, as well as the height, weight, and allergy information entered upon admission. And they might count 10 again if a nurse re-sends the orders.
The CPS Telepharmacy Difference
CPS Telepharmacy defines 2,250 lines, 25 percent fewer that most competitors, reducing telepharmacy costs by as much as 19 percent annually. CPS Telepharmacy teams fill in the gaps with an affordable alternative to 24-hour hospital pharmacy staffing and are on the job with a fully-licensed pharmacy staff after department hours, during periods of peak demand, and any time when pharmacy needs staff and support.
Clients partnering with CPS Telepharmacy report lowered healthcare costs, improved clinical outcomes, and decreased adverse drug events, all while preserving a high level of patient care with seamless delivery of pharmacy services.
To learn more about how CPS Telepharmacy can support your pharmacy operations, visit: