Background and Importance remote medication delivery systems (telepharmacy) are increasingly used by hospitals nowadays. In our hospital an inclusion and interruption protocol is used, in order to ensure correct pharmaceutical care, safe and traceable distribution and dispensing of medications. Since its implementation, a progressive increase in the number of telepharmacy requests has been observed. Despite this, it is still unknown which kind of patients would benefit the most with this system.
Aim and Objectives to conduct a socioeconomic analysis of medication delivery requests to outpatients in a telepharmacy programme.
Material and Methods retrospective observational study from February 1 to May 31, 2022. We analysed whether the average income or the distance to the hospital in each locality of the patients influenced the number of telepharmacy requests by performing two dispersion maps of requests: a map of the province with the number of telepharmacy requests of each locality per total inhabitants and a second map of the province with the average per capita income of each locality.
Results 2,842 patients were included with 14,833 total requests. According to the map of requests frequency dispersion, there was no relationship between the volume of requests for telepharmacy and the distance to the hospital. Some of the most distant areas showed fewer applications, while areas close to the hospital, were among the locations with most applications per inhabitant. As shown in the map of average income per capita, we found a relationship between the number of requests from each locality and its average income. The eastern zone of the province, which highest incomes, had fewer applications per inhabitant, while more applications tended to be associated with the western zone, which has lower incomes. This relationship was not absolute in all localities, although there was a general trend. Exceptions were areas such as Bellavista and Sanlúcar de Guadiana, with high incomes but many applications.
Conclusion and Relevance telepharmacy performs a social function by facilitating access to medication for the population with fewer economic resources.
Conflict of Interest No conflict of interest
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