Perspectives and experiences with telepharmacy among pharmacists in Canada: A cross-sectional survey

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Keywords

Telemedicine, Pharmaceutical services, Pharmacists, Pharmacy

Abstract

Objective: This study aims to understand Canadian pharmacists’ use, experiences, and perspectives of telepharmacy. Methods: We conducted a crosssectional online survey. Individuals were eligible to participate if they were currently a registered, licensed pharmacist practicing in Canada. We collected perspectives of both telepharmacy users and non-users by creating a survey logic that asked specific and shared questions between the two groups. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics including means and standard deviations (SD) for continuous variables and proportions for categorical variables. Results: Between October and December 2020, 136 pharmacists completed the survey, including 61 (52.6%) telepharmacy users and 55 (47.4%) nonusers. Among those who use telepharmacy, the majority of participants (39, 72.2%) expressed that telepharmacy augmented their clinical practice and feel comfortable managing minor ailments using telepharmacy (41, 80.4%). Among non-users, 45 (84.9%) indicated that telepharmacy will augment their clinical practice and 48 (90.6%) would feel comfortable managing minor ailments using telepharmacy. Important considerations for successful implementation of telepharmacy for those who use telepharmacy included easier system implementation (29, 19.3%), better privacy & data protection (28, 18.7%) and simple to learn technology (23, 15.3%). Conclusion: Despite the growing recognition of benefits of telepharmacy, our findings suggest that utilization among pharmacists in Canada is still quite low. Nonetheless, our study identified areas of consideration for better integration of telepharmacy in pharmacy practice including optimizing workflow, addressing barriers, and providing training to pharmacy students.

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