Background and importance The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has highlighted the need to avoid exposure of patients to places with a high probability of transmission, such as hospitals. Home delivery makes this possible, particularly in patients with disabilities and those especially vulnerable to coronavirus infection due to their drug therapy or previous pathology, such as multiple sclerosis (MS)
Aim and objectives To describe the telepharmacy system implanted in a teaching hospital for MS outpatients, based on telephone consultations and home delivery medication, from 25 March to 30 September.
Material and methods A logistic system was organised and implemented to ship medication to patient‘s residence, after a telephone pharmaceutical care interview. The following data were recorded: total home deliveries made by the outpatients pharmacy department (OPD), total patients attended by this system, total home deliveries made by OPD for MS patients and total MS patients attended by telepharmacy. All deliveries for MS patients requiring refrigeration conditions were also registered.
Results From 25 March to 30 September 2020, we performed 2166 home deliveries of 10 different MS medicines (24.0% of the total telepharmacy shipments made by OPD during this period). Up to 772 MS patients benefited from the telepharmacy system (75.0% of the total MS patients attended by our OPD). Almost 20% of these shipments required refrigeration. At the beginning, when lockdown was imposed in Spain, shipments for MS outpatients accounted for 23.2% of the total. Afterwards, with concrete conditions to maintain this system (reduced mobility, elderly, pluripathology), the percentage of MS patients attended by telepharmacy and also home delivery increased to 32.6% of the total.
Conclusion and relevance The development of telepharmacy has become a useful and necessary tool for the delivery of specialised pharmaceutical care, especially during the pandemic where patients with certain medical conditions, such as MS, were at risk. This made it possible to guarantee continuity of care for a large number of MS patients, avoiding hospital visits, and therefore reducing SARS-CoV-2 transmissions. Otherwise, to maintain the sustainability of the implanted telepharmacy system, using the resources efficiently, it is necessary to apply patient stratifications tools, which allows access to this service to those patients who need it the most.
Conflict of interest No conflict of interest
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