Insights - Article

10 Unique Ways to Utilize Telepharmacy Services

by Sharmeen Roy, PharmD, BCPS | Reg. Dir., Client Success Group

Since our founding, we’ve been helping hospitals ensure 24/7 prospective medication order review, primarily during nights and weekends when many pharmacies were closed.  Over time, we’ve seen our clients start to utilize our services in very creative ways. Some are more obvious, such as covering for an extended leave of absence, but others may surprise you.

Take a look at this list and see if there are any scenarios you may not have considered before.

Planning an EHR conversion or upgrade?

This is a major event that impacts our remote staff as much as your onsite team. As soon as you learn about the change, be sure to let your Client Success representative know so your remote team doesn’t skip a beat.

1. Staff training and development

Have you found it impossible to hold a team meeting or deliver a training that doesn’t exclude someone because of staffing demands?  Several of our clients have scheduled our service to ensure all onsite staff can participate and get full value from these investments.

2. Maternity and FMLA

When just one staff pharmacist goes on leave for an extended period, that workload shifts to other colleagues, putting additional strain on already demanding schedules or requires temporary staff. Rather than paying a high price for per diem or agency pharmacists, consider adding remote coverage for these periods for a more cost-effective solution without sacrificing service.

3. Vacation coverage

A few days off may not seem like a lot, but these hours still need to be covered by other staff members or even the Pharmacy Director. Utilizing remote staff can cut down on overtime costs as well as burnout, and ensures everyone can take a needed break.

4. EHR conversions

Your administration has decided to switch EHRs or to implement the next big upgrade. Our remote staff can cover during the cutover while your onsite team focuses on training and collaboration with other providers during this significant event. Our staff also has extensive experience with a variety of EHRs as well as planning for conversions, so let us know if we can help.

5. Severe weather coverage

Fire and hurricane season is upon us, soon to be followed by winter storms and flooding. Don’t risk your staff’s safety on the road when we can keep operations running smoothly from a safe distance. Read more in this mHealth Intelligence article.

6. Seasonal coverage

Those of you lucky enough to live and work near a seashore or lake district may see your daily census climb during the summer months. Rather than staffing up to meet the needs of peak demand, our remote service can give you the flexible coverage you need at a price that’s right.

7. Emergency Department orders

Accreditation bodies are increasing requiring prospective order review in the ED. Our remote staff can add these orders to our queue and provide the quick turnaround time your staff and patients expect in this critical care setting.

8. Clinical program expansion

Expectations on pharmacy continue to rise, whether due to value-based care or increasing regulations. Supplemental day-time coverage frees up onsite staff to deliver more clinical initiatives to meet your organization’s goals, or tap into our expert team to help advance clinical programs remotely.

9. On-demand, peak volume coverage

Staffing up isn’t always the answer to fluctuating demand. Get the help you need exactly when you need it with demand-based coverage that’s more cost-effective and flexible than adding per diem or full-time staff.

10. 24/7 med order review

Some say it’s time for a new model altogether.  Why not hand over routine medication order review to our cost-effective, high-quality service so your staff can work at the top of their license?  This model is quickly gaining popularity because it not only reduces overall cost, but delivers higher quality with engaged staff.