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Telepharmacy: an e-Solution for Rural Hospitals. Jac Davies November 17, 2005 Inland Northwest Health Services. Inland Northwest Health Services. 32 hospitals, with over 2500 beds, participating in an integrated information system and utilizing a common Master Patient Index

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Telepharmacy: an e-Solution

for Rural Hospitals

Jac Davies

November 17, 2005

Inland Northwest Health Services

inland northwest health services
Inland Northwest Health Services
  • 32 hospitals, with over 2500 beds, participating in an integrated information system and utilizing a common Master Patient Index
  • More than 20 clinics receiving hospital, laboratory and imaging data via standard electronic messages
  • More than 200 offices able to view hospital, laboratory and imaging data via a virtual private network.
  • More than 500 physicians accessing patient records wirelessly in hospitals via personal digital assistants
  • 67 hospitals, clinics and public health agencies connected to the region’s telemedicine network

Text & Speech Systems

Physicians Mercury MD “Mobile” PCI

Imaging Systems – Rad, Card, Path/Other

Expert Systems CPOE – Rules and Alerts

EMR Usage

Mobile Chart

CPOE Readiness

Telehealth Rural


ED/ Medication History

Clinical Docu-mentation

Physician Office Systems – Billing and EMR

Regional Telehealth Network

INHS/IRM Community Foundation Meditech HIS System

Clinical System Usage and Strategy

  • The integrated information system and common MPI gives the region a foundation for innovative tools, including:
  • Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE)
  • Clinical Documentation Systems for Nursing Notes
  • Decision-Support Tools
  • Anywhere, Anytime Physician Access to Images
  • Remote Consultations and Support for Rural Residents

INHS Telehealth System

  • Nursing education with universities and community colleges addressing Nursing Shortages
  • Rural hospital TelePharmacy program providing remote Pharmacist services
  • TeleER program remotely assisting rural trauma doctors with ER cases
  • Physicians provide remote Clinical Consults in Neurology, Pathology and many other areas
  • Prison Health Services receive specialist care
  • Statewide Diabetes Education Program Including Native American Tribes

The provision of pharmaceutical care through the use of Telemedicine technology, automated dispensing technology, scanning technology and integrated computer systems

goals of telepharmacy program
Goals of Telepharmacy Program
  • Enhance Patient Safety
  • Compliance with State Board of Pharmacy regulations
  • Efficient use of Pharmacist resources
  • Alleviate Health Care Personnel shortage
  • Improve Patient Outcomes
  • Improve Financial Outcomes


Automated Dispensing Devices

Electronic Medical Records


Linking Technology to Improve Rural Health Care


Pharmacist reviews orders received

  • Accuracy of order entry
  • Appropriateness
      • Dosing
      • Allergies
      • Interactions
      • Disease state

ADD* Restocking

  • The utilization of a remote camera and telehealth technology to oversee automated dispensing device* (ADD) restocking

Fill Lists

  • Technician will print ADD fill list & scan copy to remote pharmacist
  • Technician will pull needed medication from inventory in the pharmacy


  • Pharmacist visually insures with the technician that the medication is placed in the proper location in the automated dispensing device
medication verification
Medication Verification
  • Pharmacist will visually observe and verify name, strength, dosage form and quantity restocked in automated dispensing device.
  • Five rural hospitals now have experienced hospital pharmacists providing 24/7 coverage.
  • Two more hospitals are joining the program in the next three months.
  • Telepharmacists have intervened in 3% of each rural hospital’s 60,000 to 100,000 annual medication orders to avoid errors.
  • Participating hospitals have seen improved charge capture of $50,000-100,000 / yr / facility.
  • All facilities are now in full compliance with Pharmacy Board regulations.