Pharmacist use of telemedicine is a promising vehicle for improving patient management of diabetes, according to an article published in Drug Topics.
Noting that 50% of all drug errors involve insulin and that 97% of insulin overdoses occur at home, the article discussed issues relating to diabetes management and the potential for telemedicine in diabetes care.
Pharmacists and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) are challenged in their roles to have a positive impact on insulin management. Pharmacists do not have enough information to help patients avoid adverse events, while PBMs cannot ensure proper day-to-day dosing.
Telemedicine could improve the situation by providing a real-time feedback loop, allowing clinical pharmacists to track data in real time, helping patients to self-manage their condition, and promote patient engagement, and allowing clinical pharmacists to intervene with their patients when necessary. Patients can enter their blood sugar reading and a telemedicine app will tell them how much insulin they need; providing real-time feedback would allow patients to follow the treatment plan and improve patients’ confidence, thereby improving adherence.
Furthermore, having the app and its data available would improve coordination of care and tracking of medications.
“Telemedicine tools can provide a vital resource that enables PBMs and pharmacists to meaningfully impact patient outcomes and costs,” according to the article. “These tools provide a mechanism for improving adherence, reducing adverse events, and compiling an accurate and up-to-date medication list.”