Allcare Pharmacy in Ballincollig launches innovative Community Pharmacy Telehealth service.
Allcare Pharmacy, the largest Irish-owned community pharmacy group, announced the launch of Ireland’s first community pharmacy telehealth service in Ballincollig, Cork. The pilot has introduced the use of video consultation technology to established patients in the Allcare Pharmacy in Ballincollig. This enables patients to have a one-to-one consultation with their pharmacist. This ability to access a clinical follow up reassures the pharmacist that protocols are being followed, whilst bringing great comfort to patients.
In recent weeks, the number of patients self-isolating has increased significantly. With medications being collected or delivered, the important face-to-face interaction between the pharmacist and patient has disappeared. This can be a cause for concern for many patients: for example, those who live with a chronic illness and need to discuss the implications of their immunosuppressant therapies during Covid19; those with respiratory issues who need advice on inhaler use; or those who simply need the reassurance of a conversation with their pharmacist.
Speaking about the pilot, pharmacist Shane Byrnes said: “Patients have responded very positively to the service which maintains access to their local pharmacist directly from the comfort of their own home. A great use case that has emerged throughout this pilot is from patients currently on immune-suppressant drugs. Tens of thousands of patients around Ireland receive weekly, fortnightly or monthly injectable medications for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis that work by supressing the immune system. Given the nature of their medication this is an incredibly worrying time for them compounded by the fact that they may have restricted access to their normal healthcare support network.
“Utilising the telehealth service in the pharmacy we were able to intervene with patients who were planning to discontinue their long-term medication based on mis-information circulating on social media. Reassurance was given, and instead we were able to provide them with guidance on maintaining their current medication regimen and the increased importance of ‘cocooning’ or ‘stay at home’ recommendations depending on their risk category.”
The pilot got underway in Allcare Pharmacy in Ballincollig, Cork seven weeks ago and to date is proving to be extremely successful. With so many changes taking place in the way that patients access their healthcare, the Pharmacy Telehealth pilot is certainly an interesting proposition for future healthcare interactions.
The pharmacy, as do most Allcare pharmacies, also provides a free local delivery service to its patients, of both medications and our full range of products. Customers are asked to contact their local pharmacy to arrange this with the staff.