Which of the following is/are frequently used Remote Medication Order Processing (RMOP) model(s)?
I. Contracted Services
II. Supplemental Workload Balancing
III. Unit of Dispensing Services
a. I only
b. I and II only
c. II and III only
Answer: I and II only. The technologies used in Remote Medication Order Processing (RMOP) are relatively new and rapidly changing, so different methods for RMOP have evolved, and further evolution should be encouraged. At least two models of RMOP are currently in use: contracted services and supplemental workload balancing, which includes network workload balancing and on-call assistance.
Each of these models has unique characteristics that must be considered in planning for its use. Contracted Services. In this model, a hospital pharmacy that is not continuously open contracts with a larger hospital or a service to provide RMOP when its pharmacy is closed. This model is typically applied when a hospital without 24-hour pharmacy services has sufficient automated dispensing cabinet capacity that RMOP allows nursing staff to keep functioning without having a pharmacist present, although some institutions have developed models for remote verification by pharmacists of dispensing performed by pharmacy technicians at the client site.
Supplemental Workload Balancing. Similar to the model described above, in this case a health system with a number of hospitals relies on the ones that have a 24-hour pharmacy department or on a service to provide RMOP for hospitals whose pharmacies are closed or that experience unanticipated peaks in order processing workload. For example, in an on-call model, a staff pharmacist from the client site or a contracted service is placed on call to help with managing workload. This pharmacist works remotely (sometimes from a home office, where allowed by state regulation) to help the client’s pharmacy department manage unanticipated peaks in order processing workload (often on the second or third shift). In this model, the remote pharmacist is responsible for medication order entry and/or review, and medication order fulfillment occurs through the client-site pharmacy.