The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic forced healthcare systems to rethink healthcare delivery, and forced primary care pharmacists in our healthcare system to switch all visits that were previously face to face (FTF) to telehealth.
We conducted a retrospective observational cohort study to examine the association between medication related problems (MRPs) resolved in telehealth vs FTF primary care clinical pharmacist visits. The telehealth visits took place in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced health care systems to rethink care delivery. Data was collected for patient visits for two weeks in January before the pandemic and two weeks in June during the pandemic.
There was significantly more average MRPs resolved per patient encounter in FTF visits compared with telehealth visits, particularly in patient encounters that were previously seen by the pharmacist, who were under 65 years old, identified as Black/African American, had chronic kidney disease but not on dialysis, diabetes with end organ damage, and had uncontrolled blood pressure and uncontrolled A1c.
These results provide a start to establish criteria for which patients should be seen by a clinical pharmacist in person vs over the phone.
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