Implementation of a telepharmacy service to provide round-the-clock medication order review by pharmacists

Wakefield, Douglas S.; Ward, Marcia M.; Loes, Jean L.; O'Brien, John; Sperry, Leevon
December 2010
American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy;12/1/2010, Vol. 67 Issue 23, p2052
Academic Journal
Case Study
Purpose. The implementation of a telepharmacy service to provide round-the-clock medication order review by pharmacists is described. Summary. Seven critical access hospitals (CAHs) worked collaboratively as part of a network of hospitals implementing the same electronic health record (EHR), computerized prescriber-order-entry (CPOE) system, and pharmacy information system to serve as the health information technology (HIT) backbone supporting round-the-clock medication order review by pharmacists. Collaboration permitted standardization of workflow policies and procedures. Through the HIT backbone, both onsite and remote pharmacists were given access to the medication orders, the pharmacy information system, and other patient-specific clinical data in patients' EHRs. Orders are typically reviewed within 60 minutes of when they are entered into the system. The reviewing pharmacists have remote access to the EHRs in each CAH. After completing the clinical review, the pharmacist selects the appropriate medication to dispense from the CAH's formulary. If the medication order is not made using the CPOE system, the order is scanned into a document and sent via e-mail to remote pharmacists. The pharmacist enters the necessary information into the EHR and pharmacy information system. The medication order review process from this point forward is identical to that used for medications ordered via CPOE. The new medication order is then entered into the EHR, and the CAH nurse can proceed with the order. Conclusion. The implementation of a telepharmacy model in a multihospital health system increased access to pharmacy services, allowing for round-the-clock medication order review by pharmacists.


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