Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2020 Jul 23;77(15):1250-1256. doi: 10.1093/ajhp/zxaa132.
PURPOSE: The rapid spread of the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has strained the resources of healthcare systems around the world. In accordance with recommendations from the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and US Department of Defense, Intermountain Medical Center (IMED) in Murray, UT, has developed a plan to provide remote clinical pharmacy services to protect the health of pharmacy caregivers while maintaining appropriate clinical pharmacy coverage to optimally care for patients.
SUMMARY: The utilization of telemedicine technology permits clinical pharmacists to readily communicate with nurses, physicians, other caregivers, and patients. We have identified strategies to allow clinical pharmacists to continue to participate in daily rounds, provide consultations under collaborative practice agreements, verify medication orders, collect medication histories, provide antimicrobial stewardship, and deliver medication education to patients from off-site locations. The pharmacy department at IMED proactively tested telemedicine technologies, defined the roles of clinical pharmacists, and identified communication strategies prior to a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in the state of Utah.
CONCLUSION: The proactive measures described can help ensure that pharmacy caregivers have appropriate remote access and are capable of confidently using the resources. These steps allow for optimal care of hospitalized patients and promote social distancing, which may have the added benefit of decreasing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 among patients and caregivers.