Background and Importance The WHO defines telemedicine as ‘the provision of health services (where distance is a determining factor) by health professionals through the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for the exchange of information relevant to diagnosis, treatment, disease prevention, research and evaluation, and for the continuing education of health professionals, with the ultimate goal of improving the health of populations and communities’. Telepharmacy is part of the transformation process of our current healthcare system that allows us to provide pharmaceutical care to specific groups of patients, such as frail patients or those who have problems traveling to the hospital.
Aim and Objectives The aim of this study is to describe and analyse the implementation of a telepharmacy consultation in a second-level hospital.
Material and Methods The study was conducted from February 2021 to May 2022. Patients were selected as candidates to be included in the telepharmacy consultation for pharmacotherapeutic follow-up, to detect and resolve any medication-related problems, to analyse and improve patient adherence and to check that the follow-up by the medical specialist was effective.
Results A total of 262 patients were identified as candidates to participate in the project to send medication to their respective health centres due to difficulties in accessing our hospital; 247 patients (94%) were selected for regular appointments and interviews in the telepharmacy consultation every 3, 6 or 12 months. At the time of the consultation, 5.70% (n=15) of the patients could not be contacted. The average telepharmacy time was 12h/month with an average of 15 minutes per patient.
In 86 (32.8%) patients a medication-related problem (MRP) was detected: 23.2% occurrence of adverse effects, 22.4% dispensing errors, 9.6% prescription errors, 8.0% insufficiently treated health problems, 7.2% poor adherence to treatment, 4% incorrect administration of medication, 0.8% inadequate storage of medication, 24.8% other.
Conclusion and Relevance Telepharmacy involves improving adherence to treatment and its monitoring, detection of pharmacological interactions or side effects. Telepharmacy allows achieving internal optimisation of resource management and care burden and improves accessibility to health services for patients, by reducing trips to hospital, time and resource consumption. Telepharmacy guarantees a continuous, patient-centred care model.
Conflict of Interest No conflict of interest
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