Updating the Model: The Case for Independent Pharmacy to Embrace Digital Health

  • W Kyle Cornell, PharmD/MBA Candidate 2019 University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy
  • Kevin A Clauson, PharmD Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy
  • Jeff Cain, EdD, MS
Keywords: Digital health, technology, independent pharmacy, community pharmacy, practice model, clinical services

Abstract

Objectives: To advocate for independent pharmacy to embrace digital health as a means to improve patient outcomes and compete more strongly in an increasingly competitive business environment.

Summary: Independent pharmacies are positioned to be at the forefront of adopting digital health tools for a variety of reasons.  They often can make changes to their business model faster than a major retail chain, are often in rural locations where few other providers are located, and are already starting to offer the types of clinical services that can be greatly aided by digital health. This commentary presents the case for a change in the current model of pharmacy practice to one which embraces digital health. The role of the pharmacist would grow beyond exclusively medication management to incorporate tools such as wearable health trackers and mobile phone applications. By utilizing digital health, the pharmacist can obtain a greater amount of patient health data via an asynchronous electronic uploading process, and then use that data to further improve their ability to offer clinical services.

Conclusion: Digital health is a powerful tool that should be embraced by independent pharmacy. By leveraging digital health, pharmacies can improve both accessibility and quality of care, thus providing a competitive advantage in the retail marketplace.

 

Article Type: Commentary

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Published
2019-03-18
Section
Insights