Background and importance Our hospital catchment area is mainly formed of several villages. For patients suffering pathologies that decrease their autonomy, such as multiple sclerosis, going to their hospital pharmacy can be a stressful activity. Given the increasing number of patients, we decided to design a new delivery system but keeping all of the benefits of pharmaceutical care.
Aim and objectives Our main purpose was to design a home delivery system (HDS) and a telepharmacy system (TS). Our secondary objective was to establish what happened to patients, evaluating patient acceptance, time saved and kilometres avoided.
Material and methods We designed the new pathway, HDS and TS, and also a 9 months observational retrospective study (December 2018 to September 2019). A monthly–bimonthly HDS and TS was proposed to patients attending the outpatient service, prioritising patients with low autonomy. One of the requirements for patients to access the HDS was to provide their consent to code personal data, such as their address and telephone number.
To ensure HDS, patients were advised by telephone 3–5 days before the next delivery. During the call, a pharmacist also interviewed the patient, to asses adherence, asking how the treatment was going and looking for any adverse reactions. Electronic medical records were consulted to obtain variables. For evaluation of the time and distance saved by the pathway, we estimated the distance between the patients´ homes and the hospital in minutes and kilometres using Google Maps.
Results The new pathway commenced in December 2018 and 9 months later 135 patients were included in the HDS and TS, 73 women (54%), with a median age of 56±15 years. A total of 420 deliveries took place (on average 3.1 deliveries/patient). No patient rejected the programme once included. HDS and TS saved 67.8 min (41–97.6) and 69.3 km (47.5–88,2) for each patient per dispensation on average.
Conclusion and relevance The implementation of the new pathway was well accepted by patients and saved a lot of time and kilometres per dispensation. For people who find it difficult to move due to their illness, HDS and TS can have a huge impact on their quality of life.
References and/or acknowledgements No conflict of interest.
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