Virtual Clinic Benefits Community Pharmacies

A virtual clinic launched by 1-800-Pharmacy and the Independent Pharmacy Cooperative aims to assist pharmacists at independent community pharmacies.

A virtual clinic launched by 1-800-Pharmacy and the Independent Pharmacy Cooperative (IPC) aims to assist pharmacists at independent community pharmacies.

This Virtual Healthcare Clinic’s benefits include free health care information produced by physicians, around-the-clock video urgent care, and unlimited video consultations with physicians.

Community pharmacists can leverage all of these features in their practice, 1-800-Pharmacy CEO Jonathon Tanner told Pharmacy Times. For instance:

  • When patients come to the pharmacy with pink eye or a urinary tract infection, the pharmacist can invite them to use their smartphones or the pharmacy’s computer for an instant video consultation with a physician for $49.99. The prescription is then sent to the pharmacy.
  • When patients ask the pharmacist questions that a physician could best answer, the pharmacist can recommend that they e-mail those questions to a virtual clinic doctor for free.
  • When patients have medical issues that require more research, the pharmacist can recommend reviewing the virtual clinic’s free database of physician-produced health information.
  • When patients need to see a primary care physician or specialist, but they can’t travel to the doctor’s office, the pharmacist can invite them to schedule a virtual doctor visit for $44 with their current physician or one they select from the virtual clinic’s network.

These services can help pharmacists serve patients in more cost-effective and convenient ways, Tanner said.

“Having access to the Virtual Healthcare Clinic represents an innovative boon for community pharmacies,” IPC President and CEO Don Anderson said in a press release. “IPC member stores will be able to provide their customers with state-of-the-art virtual service that will help bolster their patient relationships.”

Tanner noted that independent pharmacies could expand their home delivery services by leveraging the virtual clinic, which would “allow them to compete at another level with chain pharmacies.”

“The vast majority of national chains don’t provide home delivery, but many independents do,” Tanner told Pharmacy Times. “With our Virtual Healthcare Clinic, the parent of a sick child with an ear infection can have a video consultation with a doctor from home. The prescription is then sent to the pharmacy, which in turn delivers it to the home.”

To get new users acclimated with the virtual clinic, 1-800-Pharmacy will help train pharmacy staff on all of the necessary tools.