Telemedicine and the new role of the Clinical Pharmacist
According to the ministerial decree n° 153 of 2009, second level services for Pharmacy were authorized; now a Pharmacy could:
- be a “public health service” for the community
- strengthen its role as a reference point in the area
- guarantee advice for everyday needs.
HTN offers Telemedicine devices to Pharmacies:
- 12 leads ECG, 24 hours Holter monitoring
- blood pressure holter monitoring
- pulse oxymeter.
In addition, HTN provides telemedicine services as:
1. multi-specialist teleconsultation/second opinion
2. tele-medical referrals
3. home vital signs telemonitoring
4. home remote monitoring for patients with chronic disease.
All the clinical services are offered in real time h24/7 through the ServiceCenter in Brescia which uses its advance software platform “SmartTelemedicine Platform”, an advanced telecommunication technology (smartphone, tablet, internet).
A Personal Health Record is present for every users.
The Pharmacist is assigned a password to:
• access user’s Personal Health Record
• view health and physiological data
• print out the referrals.
The advantages of HTN’s services
- immediate and easy access to a wide range of specialists
- immediate on-line availability of clinical data such as blood tests or instrumental analysis facilitating the users life who can save time and money by avoiding to go to the hospital
- prestige for the Pharmacy
- better reputation for the Pharmacist (quality and expertise)
- new services offered (The Pharmacy becomes a “health care provider”)
- opportunity to practice primary prevention (extensive coverage, quick service, short referral delivery and user convenience
- Higher income
- Committed clients (through Electronic Health Record).
A survey carried out by the Bocconi University of Milan, in collaboration with the Italian Pharmacist Association, stated that 64% of the citizens prefer to go to the Pharmacy to use these new services.
All that is needed is a small corner to guarantee the proper privacy, a comfortable chair or armchair and a personal computer with an internet connection.
The medical-legal responsibility of the Telemedicine service belongs to the specialist that signs the medical referral.