Background and importance Telepharmacy delivers pharmaceutical care services from a distance through information and communication technologies, avoiding patient attendance at the hospital. Until now, our hospital Onco-haematology Pharmacy Unit dispensed oral and subcutaneous treatments only in person. These onco-haematologic patients are usually a very fragile population.
Aim and objectives To describe the telepharmacy system for onco-haematological patients implemented at our hospital and its results in terms of activity and patient satisfaction.
Material and methods In collaboration with medical services and supported by the hospital management staff, onco-haematologic patients with oral or subcutaneous drugs prescribed and at least one of the following criteria were included: medical consultation through telemedicine, chronic stable disease with good adherence or paediatric haematologic patients whose dose adjustments require laboratory results.
A separate room with computer, mobile phone, webcam and headphones was set up. One oncology pharmacist and one pharmacy technician were allocated part time. Delivery of the dispensed treatment to the patient was arranged through community pharmacies and their regular distributor. Confidentiality was warranted through all the delivery process.
During a 7-month period, a satisfaction survey that enquired about the service and graded several items from 1 (very unsatisfied) to 5 (very satisfied) was conducted with a sample of 40 patients. Patients subjected to the survey were randomly selected by date of attendance (last day of the month from June to September) until the target of 40 completed surveys was attained.
Results During this period, 8494 patients attended the Onco-haematology Pharmacy Unit and 19.8% (n=1681), an average of 10 patients per day, were via telepharmacy. Of the 40 patients surveyed, 88.4% were very satisfied with the information received about their treatment during the telematic pharmaceutical consultation, 95.3% were very satisfied with the confidentiality maintained during the telematic pharmaceutical consultation, 90.7% were very satisfied with the conditioning of the medication for delivery and 93% were very satisfied with the overall experience. The lowest grade obtained in the overall responses was a single score of 3 for the conditioning item.
Conclusion and relevance According to the results obtained, telepharmacy in onco-haematologic patients is a high-value practice that fulfils the needs of these selected patients and it is thought highly of by them.
Conflict of interest No conflict of interest