HumanInsight Rapid implementation of telepharmacy service to improve patient-centric care and multidisciplinary collaboration across hospitals in a COVID era: A cross-sectional qualitative study
Health Sci Rep. 2022 Oct 3;5(6):e851. doi: 10.1002/hsr2.851. eCollection 2022 Nov.
BACKGROUND AND AIM: The COVID-19 pandemic forced healthcare systems to apply new technology-based solutions. The main objective of our study was to describe the conceptual model for rapid implementation of telepharmacy service and the main steps that should be considered.
METHOD: In response to a limited number of on-site clinical pharmacy specialists and a lack of technology infrastructure, a cross-sectional telepharmacy program was established to support major teaching hospitals. A store and forward model of teleconsultation was employed using WhatsApp messenger to cover various aspects of multidisciplinary collaboration in COVID-19 management. All identifiable personal information was removed from all exchanged messages of collaborative consultations. The thematic analysis of consultations was performed to extract the main themes and subthemes that should be considered for designing future telepharmacy systems.
RESULTS: Through telepharmacy service, 600 intensive care unit teleconsultations for COVID-19 cases were conducted in the residence center and nonresidence centers. In total, 1200 messages were exchanged between specialists in 3 months. The average time taken to respond to a message was 1.30 h. Thematic analysis revealed four main concepts and 15 subconcepts that should be considered in telepharmacy consultations for COVID-19 management. Based on the extracted themes, a conceptual model for developing a telepharmacy program was devised.
CONCLUSION: The results showed that by utilizing telehealth, clinical pharmacists could cover critically ill patients who need pharmacotherapy counseling through interdisciplinary collaboration. Moreover, the main features of our service that are represented through this survey can be employed by other researchers for developing telepharmacy services.
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