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Use of Telemedicine to Enhance Pharmacist Services in the Nursing Facility

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OBJECTIVE: To conduct a systematic literature review to determine what telemedicine services are provided by pharmacists and the impact of these services in the nursing facility setting.

DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE®, Scopus®, and Embase® databases.

STUDY SELECTION: The terms "telemedicine" or "telehealth" were combined by "and" with the terms "pharmacist" or "pharmacy" to identify pharmacists' use of telemedicine. Also, "telepharmacy" was added as a search term. The initial search yielded 322 results. These abstracts were reviewed by two individuals independently, for selection of articles that discussed telemedicine and involvement of a pharmacist, either as the primary user of the service or as part of an interprofessional health care team. Those abstracts discussing the pharmacist service for purpose of dispensing or product preparation were excluded.

DATA EXTRACTION: A description of pharmacists' services provided and the impact on resident care.

DATA SYNTHESIS: Only three manuscripts met inclusion criteria. One was a narrative proposition of the benefits of using telemedicine by senior care pharmacists. Two published original research studies indirectly assessed the pharmacists' use of telemedicine in the nursing facility through an anticoagulation program and an osteoporosis management service. Both services demonstrated improvement in patient care.

CONCLUSION: There is a general paucity of practice-related research to demonstrate potential benefits of pharmacists' services incorporating telemedicine. Telemedicine may be a resource-efficient approach to enhance pharmacist services in the nursing facility and improve resident care.
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: February 1, 2017

More about this publication?
  • The Consultant Pharmacist® is the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. It is dedicated exclusively to the medication needs of the elderly in all settings, including adult day care, ambulatory care, assisted living, community, hospice, and nursing facilities. This award-winning journal is a member benefit of ASCP. Individuals who are not members and wish to receive The Consultant Pharmacist® will want to consider joining ASCP.
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