SSM Health rolls out telepharmacy to expand services in Wisconsin

St. Louis-based SSM Health has introduced telepharmacy services at several locations in Wisconsin, the health system announced Nov. 30.

The SSM Health pharmacy team in Wisconsin began to develop the telehealth service in late 2016. Telepharmacy enables a remote pharmacist to deliver pharmaceutical care — such as checking prescriptions and counseling patients about their medications — to patients at various SSM Health hospitals in Wisconsin through webcam and tablet functions.

The team initially rolled out the program at two smaller locations that were filling only 50 to 120 prescriptions per day, compared to the 250 prescriptions per day larger pharmacies tend to report, according to SSM Health. In the future, SSM Health plans to expand the program to additional locations that don't generate enough prescripts to support on-site pharmacists.

"This innovative model allows us to open pharmacy locations in smaller clinics where it would not be economically feasible to open a conventional pharmacy," said Mo Kharbat, PharmD, director of pharmacy services at SSM Health in Wisconsin. "It shortened their wait times and gave them the same high-quality service they are used to getting."

SSM Health is also considering introducing weekend and evening telepharmacy services at its urgent care and emergency departments in Wisconsin.

More articles on telehealth:
FCC to consider rural telehealth proposal in December
Top 10 services healthcare execs, providers plan to offer via telemedicine
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