Structural and operational redesigning of patient-centered ambulatory care pharmacy services and its effectiveness during the COVID-19 pandemic
Thorakkattil, Shabeer A.
Nemr, Habib S.
Al-Ghamdi, Fuad H.
Jabbour, Rita J.
Al-Qaaneh, Ayman M.
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Background: The newly emerged coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has collapsed the entire global health care system. Due to these settings, a lot of strategic changes are adopted by healthcare facilities to ensure continuity in patient-centered services. Objective: This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of structural and operational changes made in ambulatory care pharmacy services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A retrospective comparative study was conducted to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of patientcentered interventions and consequent access to medication management care within Johns Hopkins Aramco Health Care ambulatory care pharmacy services during the COVID-19 pandemic by comparing patient-centered key performance indicators before and during COVID-19 pandemic for a total of 4 months. Results: As a result of the structural and operational changes made in patient-centered ambulatory care pharmacy services during the COVID-19 pandemic, a 48% prescriptions requests and 90% prescriptions fills are increased through online health portal application. A three-fold increase in the pharmacy call center utilization resulted in around 10% abandoned calls. In the number of physical visits to ambulatory care pharmacies, a 37% reduction was also noted. The decrease in staff schedule efficiency and an increase in average prescription waiting time were also noticed. The prescription collection through remote area pick up locations, and medication home delivery services were successful during COVID-19 pandemic as supported by statistical data. Conclusion: The access to ambulatory care pharmacy services during COVID-19 pandemic has been successfully maintained via medication home delivery, remote area pickup locations, pharmacy call-center consultations and refill requests, online health portal application services, and other measures, while reducing the number of physical visits to the JHAH hospital/clinic to ensure compliance with infection control and prevention measures.
Link to resourcehttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.sapharm.2020.06.017
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