With the COVID-19 pandemic causing people to stay home more healthcare services are being delivered online. Pharmacists are increasingly crucial providers that patients rely on for care. This surge in telemedicine services requires pharmacists to be flexible and, in some cases, help customers with symptoms as well as technology! In addition, pharmacists are being called to serve as front-line responders, recognizing symptoms of COVID-19, helping administer testing, and responding to confusion about requirements for quarantine and options to mitigate symptoms.
Telemedicine services are changing how prescriptions are being handed out and filled. Previously, pharmacists would have to wait for their regular customers to visit a doctor and a diagnosis to be sent in, which could take over a week. Now, Pharmacists that include telemedicine services as part of their offerings can have patients get a remote consult at home or even standing in the pharmacy. With more medications getting prescribed without any type of in-person meeting, pharmacists’ role as a major line of communication between providers and patients is even more vital in the delivery of quality care. With telemedicine, pharmacists can be more responsive and help patients receive quality care quickly, which adds to increased influence and value in the patient relationship.
Pharmacists can use new technology to more easily monitor patients’ symptoms and dosage, with apps and sites that allow consumers to track symptoms, trace contacts, and keep up with testing and medication. Pharmacists can start developing more intimate relationships with patients’ health because of the new doors telemedicine has opened.
With the world becoming more and more interconnected online, even remote pharmacy services online are becoming more common. Patients are getting consults with doctors online, pharmacies are receiving prescriptions instantly, and prescriptions are being filled and delivered directly to patients – without a patient ever leaving home. This is revolutionary for the pharmacy business, allowing pharmacists to reach more patients than they ever would, even in remote rural areas. Pharmacists’ roles are inevitably changing with the times and offering telemedicine services is part of delivering reliable, quality care to more patients than ever before.