Adams says that North Dakota, a state with few urban centers, has been pioneering the process since 2001. She adds that telepharmacy is currently permitted in 23 states, and the practice is increasingly popular.
She also notes that pharmacies may be the only kind of healthcare that some rural patients can access. “Counseling patients on both their prescription medications and over-the-counter products is a big part of a pharmacist's job. Pharmacists are often the town's only healthcare provider," Adams said.
Like telehealth and telepharmacy, ScribeAmerica, one of HealthChannels' specialized companies, introduced the TeleScribe service to provide physician access to ancillary support, regardless of location. TeleScribes are paired one-on-one with providers in rural practices and clinics as well as across sub specialties via a tablet that logs into a HIPAA-protected portal to help physicians with documentation.
Kyle Cooksey, President of CareThrough, another HealthChannels company that concentrates on remote care management, said that the largest percentage of its scribes are generally on some pathway in their medical school journey–either a gap year or premed. About 15,000 future doctors, nurses and social workers participate in the program.
CareThrough now provides telenavigation and telecare coordination. “By handing over critical administrative tasks to the experts in telecare coordination, physicians can quickly and easily increase access to care, improve the patient experience and reduce costs," said Cooksey.