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Telemed J E Health. 2014 Oct;20(10):893-901. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2013.0362. Epub 2014 Mar 10.

A retrospective evaluation of remote pharmacist interventions in a telepharmacy service model using a conceptual framework.

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1 School of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy Practice, University of Connecticut, Hartford Hospital , Hartford, Connecticut.



This retrospective cross-sectional study evaluated a telepharmacy service model using a conceptual framework to compare documented remote pharmacist interventions by year, hospital, and remote pharmacist and across rural hospitals with or without an on-site rural hospital pharmacist.


Documented remote pharmacist interventions for patients at eight rural hospitals in the Midwestern United States during prospective prescription order review/entry from 2008 to 2011 were extracted from RxFusion(®) database (a home-grown system, i.e., internally developed program at The Nebraska Medical Center (TNMC) for capturing remote pharmacist-documented intervention data). The study authors conceptualized an analytical framework, mapping the 37 classes of remote pharmacist interventions to three broader-level definitions: (a) intervention, eight categories (interaction/potential interaction, contraindication, adverse effects, anticoagulation monitoring, drug product selection, drug regimen, summary, and recommendation), (b) patient medication management, two categories (therapy review and action), and (c) health system-centered medication use process, four categories (prescribing, transcribing and documenting, administering, and monitoring). Frequencies of intervention levels were compared by year, hospital, remote pharmacist, and hospital pharmacy status (with a remote pharmacist and on-site pharmacist or with a remote pharmacist only) using chi-squared test and univariate logistic regression analyses, as appropriate.


For 450,000 prescription orders 19,222 remote pharmacist interventions were documented. Frequency of interventions significantly increased each year (36% in 2009, 55% in 2010, and 7% in 2011) versus the baseline year (2008, 3%) when service started. The frequency of interventions also differed significantly across the eight hospitals and 16 remote pharmacists for the three defined intervention levels and categories. Remote pharmacist interventions at hospitals with an on-site and remote pharmacist (n=12,141) versus those with a remote pharmacist alone (n=7,081) were significantly more likely to be (1) patient-centered, (2) related to "actionable" medication management recommendations (unadjusted odds ratio [OR]=1.12), and (3) related to the "transcribing" (OR=1.47) and "prescribing" (OR=1.40) steps of the health system-centered medication use process level (all p<0.01).


This is one of the first studies to demonstrate the patient- and health system-centered nature of pharmaceutical care delivered via a telepharmacy service model by evaluating documented remote pharmacist interventions with an analytical framework.


e-health; medication records; pharmacy; policy; telemedicine

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