Friday, October 28, 2016

Program lets one pharmacist serve several rural drug stores, allowing them to stay open

TelePharm software (DTN photo by Mark Tade)
An Iowa man is using technology to help provide pharmacy services to under-served rural areas, Claire Vath reports for DTN The Progressive Farmer. Roby Miller, who saw firsthand his rural pharmacist father forced to close operations, has come up with a software solution called TelePharm that allows one pharmacist to both fill and approve prescriptions remotely for several drug stores.

"In addition, the pharmacist can consult with patients via a videoconferencing feature on the software," Vath writes. Miller told her "It allows the pharmacist to work in a traditional town and also be in the small town with certified technicians working in the store. ... We either help a current pharmacist keep a store open, or we go into a community and work with them to put in our own pharmacy."

Miller said that in 2016 TelePharm has either opened or helped keep open 101 rural pharmacies around the Midwest and in Texas, Vath writes. Miller told her, "We're still working to expand by facilitating conversations with more state organizations and rural economic development association. And the void we're filling is the infrastructure of quality of life for a community."

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