Insights - Article

Solving the Clinical Pharmacist Shortage in Rural America

There is a shortage of clinical pharmacist in rural America.

pharmacist shortage - city
The allure of the cities and suburbs continues to attract many of the young and educated population, leaving an older generation to age in place.

At the same time, the small community hospitals in those areas often struggle to attract and retain talent. One of the greatest areas of service to be impacted? Pharmacy.

As a result, a rural or small-town pharmacist “tends to work longer hours than their urban counterparts. Relief coverage for vacation and illness is often difficult to find, which can result in overwork. This combination of lower wages and longer hours makes it even more difficult for rural areas to recruit and retain pharmacists.”

There are 45.7% fewer pharmacists per capita in rural vs. urban settings.

According to the American Hospital Association Health Forum, nearly 70 percent of rural hospital pharmacies do not provide 24/7 pharmacy coverage—often at least partially due to a shortage of clinical pharmacists in these areas.

This localized clinical pharmacist shortage is the frustrating reality faced by many rural hospitals, despite a surplus of qualified clinical pharmacists in more urban and suburban areas.

On average, 70% of rural health care organizations do not provide 24/7 pharmacy coverage.

Telepharmacy Fills the Gap

Telepharmacy can help offset clinical pharmacist shortages in rural areas by supplementing your existing staff with some of the surplus of highly-qualified talent that exists in urban and suburban areas. In addition, per order pricing of these shared resources makes it significantly more cost-effective than hiring additional staff, even if available.

“I find that (telepharmacy) really helps facilities like mine that are rural and it enables us to work on the same platform and with the same level of expectations as a larger facility would. It helps level the playing field and gives us the same edge. It doesn’t take a lot of bodies anymore to throw at things to make things work.”
Greg Guimond, Director of Pharmacy at Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center

A shortage of pharmacists in rural areas no longer needs to leave your facility short staffed – let telepharmacy fill that gap.

pharmacist shortage - telepharmacy

Telepharmacy Improves Pharmacy Service

Telepharmacy not only provides 24/7 coverage for rural hospitals challenged by pharmacist shortages but can supplement on-site staff during peak hours to create more consistent turnaround times.

Having remote clinical resources can also be good way for smaller hospitals to take advantage of on-demand pediatric, oncology, and other pharmacist specialists.

Telepharmacy Provides More than Coverage

A well-run telepharmacy program further supports your existing pharmacy operations by:

  • Improving pharmacy quality and turnaround time, with an emphasis on patient and medication safety
  • Providing doctors and nurses with access to advanced or specialized pharmacy clinicians
  • Ensuring compliance with regulatory guidelines and each hospital’s policies and procedures
  • Delivering transparent reporting for more effective management

Telepharmacy Made Easy

PipelineRx provides comprehensive telepharmacy services throughout the continental US and Alaska. We ensure compliance with your facility’s formulary and facility-specific rules through our specialized HIPAA-compliant, SaaS-based software.

Our services allow you to optimize pharmacy operations through extending or supplementing in-house staff with a remote team that operates 24/7/365.

Want to know more about how we can help? Contact us today to discuss your unique needs!

Are you a clinical pharmacist looking for a change of pace?

pharmacist shortage - pharmacistWhether you are feeling the impact of the pharmacist shortage first hand or are part of the urban surplus, you are in high demand as a clinical pharmacist. At PipelineRx we are looking for the best staff to add to our ever growing remote pharmacist team. Join our team and reap the benefits of:

  • Working from your home office – All you need is a HIPAA-compliant work setting. No more time wasted commuting or getting stuck in traffic.
  • Challenging work – Utilize your clinical skills medication order review and verification, but also in other challenging work like therapeutic drug monitoring and management, medication reconciliation, prescriber consults, and more.
  • Competitive pay and benefits – Just because you’re not working in-person doesn’t make your specialized skills any less valuable. We pride ourselves on providing our pharmacists with competitive pay and benefits.

Interested in working with us? Check out our careers page for more information.