The Assessment of Telepharmacy Practice Among Community Pharmacists in Lagos, Nigeria https://doi.org/10.51412/psnnjp.2022.39
Main Article Content
Background: Telehealth is transmitting medical information and providing and supporting clinical care from one place to another through electronic communication methods. Telepharmacy is the provision of pharmaceutical care to patients using technologies and telecommunications. Telepharmacy allows the pharmacist to provide patient care services in an area by taking history,
reviewing patients' files, and assessing medications utilized by the patients. This study is aimed to analyse the assessment of tele-pharmacy practice among community pharmacists in Lagos, Nigeria.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive survey of community pharmacists practising in Lagos, Nigeria. We used a convenient sampling technique in recruiting participants to the study. The questionnaire was developed and validated. The final questionnaire consisted of three sections. The first domain centered on the sociodemographic characteristics of the respondents while the second section probed for awareness and availability of telepharmacy services in community pharmacies in
Results: From our results54(63%) of the total pharmacy providers who were randomly sampled for this pilot study were currently practicing telepharmacy services in Lagos state, 82(96.5%) of the total participants were aware and had the perception on the importance of telepharmacy practice in Nigeria. Also, 21(50.7%) of the telepharmacy providers started the practice within 1-5years hence buttressing the fact that there is a surge in telepharmacy growth from the COVID-19 era till present. From the results 43(50.6%) of the participants strongly agree that telepharmacy practice enables greater penetration of the pharmaceutical market, 37(43.5%) also agree that telepharmacy is more convenient for their patient and 31(36.5%) also strongly agree that telepharmacy is an effective means of discharging pharmaceutical services.
Conclusion: Findings from the study show that most of the pharmacists practicing in Lagos were aware of the importance of telepharmacy practice and were also currently practicing telepharmacy, with also a more significant percentage of unaware pharmacists willing to practice telepharmacy. It was surmised that telepharmacy practice enables greater penetration of the pharmaceutical market, more convenient for the patients and is an effective means of offering pharmaceutical services.
Telepharmacy faced some challenges, including poor internet connectivity, poor patronage, high installation cost, and lack of ICT resources, possibly leading to more telephone interviews than videoconferencing.
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