Defined simply, telepharmacy is the provision of pharmacy services at a distance. While used in countless ways across various pharmacy practice settings, the most relevant example to NuCara is telepharmacy in a community pharmacy practice.
As a leader in rural health care, telepharmacy is a natural fit to NuCara. We currently own and operate three telepharmacy sites and are providing the verification and counseling services for an additional four sites in Illinois. A telepharmacy operates just like a traditional community pharmacy, however the pharmacist verifies the prescriptions and counsels the patient through the use of technology. Patients will receive the same level of service at a NuCara telepharmacy as they do at any other NuCara Pharmacy.
NuCara first entered the world of telepharmacy in 2013 with the opening of the second telepharmacy pilot in the state of Iowa in Zearing. Since then, we have welcomed Enderlin, North Dakota, to the NuCara family as well as a second Iowa pilot site in State Center.
With the recent legislation signed by Iowa Governor Branstad, we expect more telepharmacy services to be in our future. We have gathered excellent patient safety and have been working to provide additional pharmacist-provided clinical services such as immunizations and MTM into our telepharmacy sites.
Additionally, we are very excited about the “hybrid” telepharmacy model, which we define as having a pharmacist on site at least one day each week. This allows the efficiency of a telepharmacy, while providing regular access to an on-site pharmacist. NuCara has also used the same technology to provide quick and easy assess to other specialists, like respiratory therapists, to our patients in rural areas. As technology evolves, NuCara continues to be a pioneer in how to best serve our patients through innovation.