HealthPRO Canada News

March 30, 2021

How a HealthPRO contract helped South Bruce Grey Health Centre implement telepharmacy services in less than a week

When an urgent email came in from South Bruce Grey Health Centre (SBGHC) asking for help sourcing a new telepharmacy solution, HealthPRO worked with NorthWest Telepharmacy Solutions (NTS) to expedite the implementation process. 

Image of a person using a telepharmacy application

SBGHC is a HealthPRO member that serves a community of approximately 44,000 people across four hospital sites located southern Grey and Bruce Counties.

By leveraging telepharmacy services, SBGHC has been able to supplement their pharmacy resources to increase their onsite staff’s capacity to provide direct patient care.

In December 2020, when SBGHC received two-days’ notice that their telepharmacy provider could no longer provide services, they reached out to HealthPRO for help in sourcing a new telepharmacy solution.

Implementing a Telepharmacy solution

Introducing a new service or technology process to a healthcare facility is a collaborative process that spans several week or months.

For telepharmacy services in particular, the process includes setting up the necessary technology and devices, consultation between both the facility and service providers’ IT teams, as well as time to train the facility’s pharmacists.

Assuming the implementation goes smoothly, it typically takes four to eight weeks to implement telepharmacy services.

How HealthPRO expedited the process

As a rural, multi-site healthcare organization spanning a large geographic area, an interruption in services – even temporarily – could have had an impact on patient care.

Thankfully, NTS was able to implement their telepharmacy services in less than a week.

When asked what enabled the implementation process to be implemented so quickly, Sammu Dhaliwall, Business Development Manager at NTS, cited HealthPRO’s contracting services.

“By HealthPRO proactively procuring a telepharmacy vendor, the hospital was able to jump on the contract without needing to go through their own procurement process, which would have inevitably caused a delay,” said Sammu.

Importantly, Pawel Przeracki, Pharmacy Manager for SBGHC, noted, “As a member, we know HealthPRO rigorously vets its supplier prior to awarding a contract. This enabled us to very-quickly build the trust and rapport needed to implement a new service, especially within such a short amount of time.”

The benefits of telepharmacy

Telepharmacy services can provide healthcare facilities with virtual, around the clock, access to pharmacists to help meet provincial College of Pharmacy regulatory standards and guidelines from the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities,” said Patricia Macgregor, HealthPRO’s Clinical Director of Pharmacy Innovation.

She added that, “with telepharmacy services, healthcare providers can count on a pharmacist’s support to supplement their resources to deliver expanded service hours, provide extra resources to manage peak time periods, streamline the medication order review and reconciliation processes, as well as provide an alternative source for medication management, organizational support, and consultation, such as gap analysis and process mapping.”

Additionally, “as new strains of COVID-19 begin to emerge, telepharmacy solutions can be put in place, as needed, to rapidly assist the associated peak times experienced by hospitals.”

HealthPRO’s Professional & Telepharmacy Services Contract

HealthPRO’s national contract for Professional & Telepharmacy Services not only helps foster patient safety through safe medication management, it enables members to meet NAPRA and provincial pharmacy regulatory standards.

Through this contract, members can supplement their current staffing resources — delivering expanded service hours or 24/7 coverage — while tapping into an alternative source for operational consulting services to improve future service delivery.

To commit to this contract, or for more information, please contact:

Patricia Macgregor
Clinical Director, Pharmacy Innovation