Virtual Pharmacy: Proactive, Personal Care That Goes Beyond Medication Dispensing
Lack of convenience, understanding, and high costs are barriers that can stand in the way of someone staying adherent to their medication. On top of that, interactions at community pharmacies are often more transactional than personal.
Medication non-adherence costs the U.S. healthcare system $290 billion annually. When people don’t take their medications as prescribed their odds of hospitalization or adverse health effects increases. For employers, this translates to financial risk and associated lost productivity costs due to an unhealthy workforce.
Virtual pharmacy flips the community model on its head by facilitating a high-touch experience that takes pharmacy care to the next level. This proactive, consultative approach reaches people wherever they are regardless of geographic location and enables pharmacists to play an active role on the care team.
What is a virtual pharmacy?
A virtual pharmacy solution goes beyond simply dispensing medications and focuses on proactive support across a broader population, allowing for a more comprehensive approach to pharmacy care. From prescription delivery and refills to treatment monitoring and follow-up, behavior change coaching, and more – pharmacists build relationships with their patients to ensure they have everything they need to live healthy lives.
Someone accessing a virtual pharmacy can expect:
- Virtual consultations from a licensed pharmacist
- Prescription delivery and refill services
- Treatment monitoring and follow-up
- Behavior change coaching
- Disease-specific education
- Medication adherence support
High-quality virtual pharmacy services offer proactive medication support and critical counseling while encouraging simple remedies so costly ones aren’t needed. If a change to a medication regimen is required, provider outreach and support from a pharmacist ensures seamless continuity of care.
What type of care can virtual pharmacists provide?
Virtual pharmacists provide different types of care and consultation outside of just dispensing medications. For instance, they can view readings from remote monitoring devices such as glucometers and blood pressure cuffs to ensure members stay on top of their health. They can also consult on a range of topics including travel medicine, healthy eating, exercise, and lifestyle medicine tips to help individuals make positive behavior changes on a daily basis.
Virtual pharmacists can also provide guidance in the following areas:
- Help individuals understand their medication routines and the rationale behind it
- Explain potential side effects for any new medications being introduced
- Explain which medications are best to purchase over the counter
- Identify and help individuals enroll in discount programs, like copay assistance cards, to save on monthly medication expenses
- Discuss any difficulties or adverse side effects someone may be experiencing and coordinate an alternative solution
Additionally, pharmacists can reach out between medication refills to do a wellness check and provide continued support so individuals can ask questions or share challenges they may be facing in their daily lives.
How can pharmacy and primary care solutions work together?
Integrated solutions deliver substantial value to organizations and their people. Together, primary care and pharmacy amplify the patient experience, allowing providers to offer multidisciplinary care that ensures people are treated holistically – from prevention and checkups to medication adherence and administration.
These integrated services can deliver long-lasting results that allow pharmacists to build closer relationships with members and improve overall health and quality of life. This coordinated approach between pharmacy and primary care enables pharmacists to better understand an individual’s needs and provide personalized support and education.
Making a Bigger Impact with Virtual Pharmacy
Premise Health pharmacy solutions are built on the idea that, as one of the most visible and accessible members of a healthcare team, pharmacists can have a huge impact on member experience and healthcare spend. Through our Digital Wellness Center, dedicated virtual pharmacists serve on a centralized care team that help members in all 50 states make smarter medication decisions. When you give workers access to pharmaceutical resources that promotes convenience and makes their personal goals easier to achieve, everyone benefits.
Contact us to learn more about Premise’s approach to virtual pharmacy.