Specialty pharmacies have long fulfilled a critical need by providing remote support for severely ill patients who require in-home medication. With the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, specialty pharmacies found the spotlight on some of the challenges they still face with the real-time, virtual patient support and care team collaboration required to ensure timely refills, contactless delivery, and the data needs to prove efficacy.
A September 2020 survey of nearly 100 specialty pharmacy and home infusion providers from SmartBrief and Citus Health reveals the tech gaps and how specialty pharmacies are adopting virtual technologies to ensure patients, families, caregivers, physicians, care teams and pharmacists can connect anywhere, anytime.
How Did Specialty Pharmacies Respond During the Crisis?
The survey found that at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, nearly half of respondents indicated their main challenge was a lack of real-time communication tools for remote staff, physicians, and care teams. Another 21 percent said they had difficulty in communicating with patients to fill early refill requests.
While 50 percent of specialty pharmacy and home infusion providers indicated they had already invested in some form of secure messaging/chat capabilities, 72 percent were not completely satisfied with their ability to deliver real-time patient communication and remote care team coordination and collaboration tools during the COVID-19 crisis.
It is evident across home-based care that COVID-19 was the tipping point for virtual patient support solutions. Specialty pharmacy and home infusion providers now see that the delivery of care through digital means is a must have with nearly 75 percent or more of respondents indicating they already have adopted, adopted in 2020, or will adopt secure messaging, customizable digital forms and electronic signature capture.
Why Specialty Pharmacies Continue to Adopt Virtual Patient Support Solutions
Virtual support technology eliminates communication barriers, delays in care, and connects people in a much more seamless and meaningful way. Most providers recognize that these communication gaps need to be eliminated to reduce costs and ensure the timely delivery of life-saving medications. And with 82% believing referral partners and manufacturers place a high value on their organization’s ability to demonstrate patient satisfaction, speed to therapy, and therapy adherence with a digital support technology platform, virtual patient support is undoubtedly here to stay. Specialty pharmacies who embrace this technology will develop a competitive advantage as they ensure better care team collaboration, patient engagement, and better data collection.
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To learn how Citus Health is helping specialty pharmacies advance digital patient support and care team collaboration read how BioMatrix Specialty Pharmacy engaged 46% of their patients within weeks with the Citus solution suite.