TelePharm is head and shoulders above any other telepharmacy product that we have looked at. TelePharm will be a key building block to growing our business.
Sheffield, Illinois is a village of nearly 900 people located in north-central part of the state. In terms of healthcare, the community has a family practice physician located in the middle of Main Street. Up until 2016, patients who left the doctor’s office would have to drive 20+ minutes each way to fill their prescription.
“I know for a fact that the elderly or people with sick children are really appreciative,” said Karen Engels, Certified Pharmacy Technician at the Sheffield Telepharmacy, operated by Local Health. “The elderly had to depend on caregivers to go get their medications and it’s at least a 20-minute driver either way they go to a pharmacy. People with sick children, or if they are sick, they leave the clinic across the street walk on over to get their meds and they can go home instead of having to travel.”
Local family practice physician, Dr. Timothy A. Pratt, MD, agrees that convenience plays a big role in medication adherence.
“The fewer obstacles between the patient and getting their prescription filled definitely helps compliance, and in turn, helps their health,” he said. “It’s been great. It’s been very good for patients, particularly our more senior patients and families with little kids.”
Dr. Pratt has witnessed the improvement in outcomes and rural healthcare services first-hand with his practice located across the street from the telepharmacy.
Mary Ann Cernovich, an active community member, and Dr. Pratt’s mother, has spent most of her life in Sheffield. We asked her what it means to have a pharmacy back in Sheffield.
“I think it’s really been a huge plus for our community,” she said. “For convenience for our elderly citizens particularly, but really for everyone who walks out of the clinic needing a prescription. Now you can walk across the street and get it in a timely manner.”
Beyond improving access to pharmacists and pharmacy-care services, the telepharmacy has made an impact from an economic standpoint, as well.
“It’s important. It’s a storefront, it’s a business in a small town and we rely on those and need those.