HumanInsight Results of the Protocolization of a Telepharmacy Program: Patient Selection and Dispensation Interruption Criteria
Telemed J E Health. 2022 Oct 19. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2022.0252. Online ahead of print.
Objective: To analyze the impact of applying criteria for patient selection and interruption of dispensation in a telepharmacy program. Secondary objective: to conduct a socioeconomic analysis of requests for telepharmacy after applying the criteria. Methods: A retrospective observational study was conducted. We applied the criteria from September 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021 and reviewed the impact of their application by comparing the prior period (October 14, 2020-August 31, 2021) with the period when the criteria were applied. We analyzed the evolution of applications over time, the number of users, the evolution over time of rejected applications, and the associated reasons. Finally, we studied how the average income and distance to hospital are related to the number of requests. This study was reviewed by the authors' institutional ethics committee and was considered exempted from further review. Results: We applied the criteria to 2,379 patients. Dispensations by telepharmacy increased progressively. We provided telepharmacy services to 41.7% of all outpatients and rejected 962 applications (65% after the criteria were applied). The main pre- and postcriteria reasons for rejecting applications were refusal without express reason and the patient having sufficient medication, respectively. All patients corrected the situation that caused rejection. Telepharmacy requests and distance to hospital were not related, although the number of requests and average income were related. Conclusions: We provided pharmaceutical care with this protocol and encouraged patients to correct the reasons for interrupted dispensations. The new criteria render telepharmacy available to all patients, regardless of where they live or their purchasing power. Lower-income individuals use telepharmacy more often.
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