The Value of Using Digital Health Tools for Collaborative Patient Care

By Bhavesh Modi

March is Pharmacy Appreciation Month, an annual campaign to celebrate pharmacists and their growing role in improving access to care for Canadians. This year, the theme is "Discover the Power of Pharmacy." To contribute to the conversation, I'd like to share how using digital health tools can support pharmacists in collaborative patient care.

The Value of Using Digital Health Tools for Collaborative Patient Care

In recent years, the health care industry has seen a significant shift towards the use of digital health tools to improve patient outcomes. This approach involves the use of technology to enable health care providers to deliver more personalized and efficient care, while empowering patients to take a more active role in managing their health. As the landscape continues to evolve, the use of digital health tools will play a prominent role in modernizing health care.

One of the most significant benefits of using digital health tools is improved communication between health care professionals. For example, a pharmacist may need to clarify a prescription with a prescriber, which would mean either a phone call or fax communication. This process takes many steps and can be very time-consuming. As a pharmacist myself, I would much rather use the tools within the pharmacy system to document such clarifications for ease of follow-up and to ensure that the exchange is documented as part of the patient record. With digital health tools such as PrescribeIT®, communication between health care professionals can occur within clinical systems, without the heavy reliance on fax or paper-based methods. This can lead to better health outcomes and a more positive patient experience.

Another benefit of using digital health tools is the overall improved efficiency. For example, e-prescribing can streamline the patient care process by electronically transmitting prescriptions or clinical communications directly from a prescriber’s EMR to the patient’s pharmacy of choice. Unlike fax prescriptions, e-prescribing can reduce the amount of manual data entry required to process and dispense prescriptions. From a safety and security perspective, less time and effort is spent on validating prescriptions, especially for opioid or controlled substances. As a result, paperwork is reduced, workflow is improved and more focus is placed on patient care.

As you can see in the examples above, digital health tools can be a great resource for improving patient care and when health care professionals work together, they can provide more comprehensive and coordinated care to patients. This leads to better health outcomes, improved quality of life, and reduced health care costs.

As technology continues to advance, digital health tools will play an even greater role in collaborative patient care. So, as we celebrate pharmacists this month, let’s show our appreciation by supporting them with the right tools so they can communicate more efficiently with other health care professionals to ensure patients get the best care.

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About the author
Bhavesh Modi

Bhavesh Modi

Bhavesh Modi is the Director of Pharmacy Relations and Deployment for Canada Health Infoway. He earned his Master of Sciences in Pharmacy in 2013. Since then, he has worked with several organizations on their pharmacy transformation journey by leveraging technologies and innovation to further advance the pharmacy profession. As a practicing pharmacist, Bhavesh has been able to implement key strategic health initiatives and patient education opportunities, while growing the pharmacy business within the expanded scope of practice.