Remote Pharmacy FAQ

1. Will the pharmacists at Nebraska Medicine be providing our service? 
Pharmacists are Nebraska Medicine employees who are hired specifically to staff the Remote Pharmaceutical Care Service (RPCS). The pharmacists on duty will be responsible for several RPCS hospitals.

2. What credentials do the remote pharmacists have? 
All RPCS pharmacists are licensed, highly trained and experienced clinical hospital pharmacists with demonstrated ability at triaging questions related to medication use and administration in an inpatient setting. Several of the pharmacists have completed Pharmacy Practice Residencies, while others have specific areas of interest and experience in infectious diseases, pediatrics, cardiology, internal medicine, anticoagulation and more. As of 2016 there are 14 RPCS pharmacists with a combined 226 years of pharmacy practice experience.

3. How does the RPCS maintain patient confidentiality? 
Business associate and partner agreements are signed by both Nebraska Medicine and the remote hospital. This agreement clearly defines expectations with respect to confidentiality and the handling of electronically transferred patient information. The contract between Nebraska Medicine and the remote hospital also addresses expectations with respect to pharmacist professional conduct which is further emphasized in the Remote Pharmaceutical Care Service Policies and Procedures. All RPCS pharmacists receive annual HIPAA training from Nebraska Medicine . RPCS pharmacists are issued secure credentials to the remote site’s information system consistent with remote site policy. RPCS pharmacists access each remote site’s system using a secure VPN connection.

4. If our nurses, pharmacists or physicians have questions and need to talk to a RPCS pharmacist, do we just call Nebraska Medicine pharmacy? 
We have a direct 1-877 phone number that lets the remote hospital staff member with questions call directly to the RPCS pharmacist on duty. The RPCS pharmacists are equipped with an extensive array of online and hard copy drug information resources and will be able to address all questions promptly. In the event that the question is of a more complex nature, the RPCS pharmacist will work directly with the Nebraska Medicine Drug Information Service to obtain timely, well-referenced information.

5. Won’t adding a pharmacist into our workflow slow us down? 
Remember that the CMS requires that all medication orders be reviewed/validated prospectively by a pharmacist to promote patient safety. Nebraska Medicine RPCS has set aggressive standards for turnaround times to insure patient safety and be mindful of timely medication administration.

6. Will there be a specific pharmacist that always provides our remote service? 
Each remote hospital is given a “lead pharmacist” to work with to clarify policies and procedures and address questions and concerns with the RPCS. We currently have 14 pharmacists staffing a 24/7/365 service. The pharmacists and remote sites are divided into teams in such a way as to provide consistent scheduling of pharmacists to each team of hospitals. The RPCS pharmacists are a very dedicated, talented group of pharmacists that you will enjoy working with!

7. What hospital or pharmacy information systems does the RPCS currently support? 
The RPCS pharmacists currently providing support to and are trained on Centriq, Cerner, CPSI, Meditech, NextGen, Paragon and Siemens systems.. We are happy to learn additional systems as necessary.

8. How are the pharmacists trained on the remote site systems? 
The RPCS identifies one or two pharmacists to obtain onsite training at the remote hospital (either with the onsite pharmacist or the nurse trainer). These “super-users” are responsible for training the rest of the RPCS pharmacy staff and developing and updating comprehensive user documents for the remote site’s system and its policies and procedures. During the training, we use the remote site’s orders and work with test patients just like we would do if we were physically on site.

9. Will it be necessary for the remote site to purchase any equipment? 
The equipment required is determined by the level of service the remote hospital desires. In most instances, there has been no need for additional equipment at the remote hospital.(I thought they had to purchase an Order Image account). It will be necessary to establish appropriate connectivity with the remote hospital which may incur some cost.

10. How much does the service cost? 
The cost of the RPCS is determined by taking into consideration the level and types of service desired by the remote hospital, the service hours required and the anticipated volume of orders.

11. Who can I call with more questions? 
Call 402.559.4877 and Melissa G. Welch will address questions and arrange a visit.