3 Ways Telehealth Benefits Pharmacists

Since 2019, patient adoption of telehealth services has more than tripled. In 2022, nearly 50% of patients sought care via telehealth. This represents a seismic change from traditional, brick-and-mortar healthcare. But it’s an evolution that comes with significant benefits.

Telehealth pharmacy helps patients receive consultations critical to driving positive health outcomes regardless of where they live – or where their clinicians work. For patients living in physical or situational healthcare deserts, that’s huge.

Care team members see similar benefits. And pharmacists in particular can find a lifeline through telehealth, using tech to deliver personalized, efficient, expertly communicated care.

In this post, we’ll look at three ways telehealth benefits pharmacists.

Telehealth empowers disenfranchised pharmacists to return to work

The pandemic sped the development of an already significant clinician shortage throughout healthcare. As a result, many pharmacists still find themselves disenfranchised, even as many want to return to work. 

In the United States in particular, women in pharmacy have had a particularly bad experience. Without structured childcare policies, many suddenly found themselves balancing the roles of teacher, primary childcare provider, and pharmacist.

When it came time to choose between those roles, the choice was clear.

Now, many pharmacists who left the workplace are considering options for continuing their careers remotely. And like workers throughout the economy, pharmacists are looking for more control over their work-life balance. Above all, they want to focus on the work and lives they value.

Telehealth can help pharmacists achieve this, offering…

  • Flexible work hours. RxLive’s pharmacists work remotely on a part-time schedule to support a positive work-life balance.
  • Remote employment. Delivering care via RxLive’s telehealth platform helps pharmacists reach all patients, including those in remote locations or with mobility difficulties.
  • Patient-centered work. RxLive’s telehealth platform connects pharmacists directly with providers and patients, minimizing time spent on busy work and keeping the focus on delivering quality care.

In other words, telehealth helps meet pharmacists and patients where they’re at. What’s more: it efficiently supports the positive health outcomes central to quality healthcare.

Telehealth facilitates the delivery of consistent, quality care

It’s harder than ever for overtaxed pharmacists in understaffed pharmacies to connect with patients. 

Protocols around Covid protections, testing, and vaccinations are in flux. The current Covid and flu season is complicated by record levels of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). And through it all, patients continue to need refills and get answers to questions critical to maintaining their health. 

In short: there’s too much on-the-ground work for any one pharmacist to comfortably complete. Nevertheless, patients need care more than ever. Telehealth offers pharmacists an efficient way to prioritize how they deliver care across the board.

Through telehealth, tech-powered pharmacists can prioritize tasks in order to efficiently meet patient needs. In-person care will always be necessary. And telehealth doesn’t replace it. Rather, telehealth offers a supplement that helps pharmacists prioritize and distribute tasks to more effectively deliver medications and information. 

Formulary review and clinician consults, for example, are particularly matched to telehealth services. What’s more: when this work is completed remotely, pharmacists in the clinic are able to refine their focus on in-person patient needs.

Telehealth helps minimize burnout

We’ve looked at how telehealth helps pharmacy teams focus on increasing patient needs. But scaling pharmacy workloads via telehealth isn’t a sustainable approach unless teams can scale along with the tech. Otherwise, the pharmacists who are working will quickly – and continually – burn out.

Additionally, we’ve touched on how telehealth leverages a remote workforce to deliver location-neutral care and support pharmacists in the clinic. To supplement these benefits, RxLive’s tech-powered pharmacists offer a comprehensive approach to telehealth services. 

How? Consults and medication reviews completed via RxLive’s telehealth platform are driven by a fractional network of distributed pharmacists empowered by RxLive.ai.

RxLive.ai integrates with Surescripts and EHR data, runs analytics on that data, and offers careteams key insights that help guide courses of care. When RxLive pharmacists consult with patients and physicians via telehealth systems, they’re empowered with this critical information.

And what’s more: as RxLive.ai comprehensively empowers RxLive’s entire network of pharmacists, clinicians aren’t burned by more work than they can complete. Significantly, this benefits pharmacists in the clinic as well as pharmacists throughout RxLive’s network.

Telehealth helps pharmacists work at the top of their license

Pharmacists aren’t strangers to navigating hurdles while supporting their patients. With RxLive, the workplace doesn’t have to be one of those hurdles.

Telehealth offers an opportunity for pharmacists to have a direct, positive impact on health outcomes – without adversely impacting their own wellbeing.

Contact us to learn more about how RxLive helps pharmacists work at the top of their license.

Kristen Engelen, PharmD
Kristen Engelen, PharmD, is the chief pharmacy officer of RxLive and a certified consultant pharmacist; she has over a decade of experience in retail pharmacy settings. Kristen became an RxLive co-founder because of her passion for geriatric pharmacy, with a focus on the intersection of pharmacy and aging.