Pharmacists in eHealth


This question has ever becoming a an inflating bubble since the health care systems are lingering into ehealth and health IT. Many primary care physicians have some kind of an EMR where they can properly and consistently manage their patients' medical history, diagnoses, lab results, medications, etc.

This provides them adequate patient information for the continual care to their patients. There are many software packages but eventually they serve the same purpose.

“Pharmacists are Gatekeepers” of drugs was a common saying, but is it still? Community pharmacies, where pharmacists are part of the primary care, don’t have EMRs or even a proper software package to view important medical information of the patient at hand. I’m not going into the extended scope of pharmacists in Canada and what their roles and responsibilities entail as it’s an ever expanding topic. Community pharmacies have very closed and limited software, such as Kroll and Delta/HealthWatch by Shoppers Drug Mart. These software packages depend on the pharmacist’s, technician’s or pharmacy assistant’s ability to properly enter data provided by the patient or the prescriber. These applications serve as a database of patient’s demographics, medication history and allergies. There is no way to link patient’s profile to at least the corresponding family physician. In my opinion, this alone can hinder the workflow at the pharmacy and cut a significant time from consultation where patients can benefit.

Now how can the aforementioned be improved? What can be done to enable community pharmacies to enable pharmacist-physician collaboration via EMR, PHR, etc. instead of phone calls and faxes (yes, it’s 2020 and pharmacies depend heavily on ‘80’s tech).