With razor thin budgets and the shift to value-based care, the demands on today’s hospital pharmacists are greater than ever before. Patients require access to pharmacists around the clock and year-round. Rural hospitals, in particular, face shortages of on-site full-time pharmacists. With pharmacy professionals stretched thin, how does a hospital pharmacy meet the need for 24/7 pharmacy services?
No matter the geographic location, hospital pharmacies and pharmacists can benefit from contracted telepharmacy support. Here are some key ways that your pharmacy can gain traction.
Licenses Pharmacists Always Available
Under Medicare rules, all first-dose orders must be reviewed by a pharmacist unless there is an emergency. Many hospital pharmacies are challenged to have licensed pharmacists available 24/7, but an off-site telepharmacy support team can fill in the holes cost-effectively.
The pharmacy team benefits from collaboration with and coverage by off-site licensed pharmacists during peak times in the normal work day, temporary or permanent staff shortages and on weekends, nights and holidays. Patients benefit from direct access to a licensed pharmacist no matter the day or hour as well as faster turnaround times and the elimination of delays in dosing.
Freeing Pharmacists for Clinical Roles
Contracting with a telepharmacy provider can free an on-site pharmacist’s time to participate in clinical roles that impact patient care and positively affect the overall operation. Transitioning pharmacists beyond simply dispensing medication to involvement in direct patient care has been shown to help decrease cost of care and improve quality of care.
As the trend toward value-based care accelerates, maximizing the expertise of on-site pharmacists as part of an interdisciplinary care team will continue to be a useful strategy to drive clinical outcomes, increase patient satisfaction and reduce costs.
Catching Medication Errors
Under value-base care where providers are being paid for quality not quantity, hospital pharmacy departments are seeking opportunities to become more efficient and effective throughout their operation, not just in processing medication orders. Telepharmacy teams reviewing medication orders 24/7 are able to catch costly and problematic medication errors in real time.
The CPS Telepharmacy team processes 3 million medication events a year and intervenes on more than 200 medication orders a day, averaging 73,000 interventions a year. On average, CPS Telepharmacy catches medication errors 3.6 times a day – 25 times a week – flagging the wrong dose, wrong drug or the wrong patient. These interventions result in fewer adverse drug events, readmissions and emergency room visits.
The CPS Telepharmacy team functions as a seamless extension of the hospital pharmacy and meets all Joint Commission, HIPAA and federal and state regulations overseeing telepharmacy service delivery. For more information about CPS Telepharmacy Solutions, visit: https://www.cpspharm.com/telepharmacy