International telepharmacy education: another venue to improve cancer care in the developing world.

Citation:

Alfaar AS, Kamal S, Abouelnaga S, Greene WL, Quintana Y, Ribeiro RC, Qaddoumi IA. International telepharmacy education: another venue to improve cancer care in the developing world. Telemed J E Health 2012;18(6):470-4.

Date Published:

2012 Jul-Aug

Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: In developed countries, pharmacists play a crucial role in designing and implementing cancer treatments as part of a multidisciplinary oncology team. However, developing countries have a shortage of pharmacists, and their role is generally limited to dispensing and selling drugs. The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of providing clinical pharmacy educational activities via international teleconferencing to improve cancer care in developing countries. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Meticulous preparation and intense promotion of the workshop were done in Egypt before the telepharmacy conferences began. Multiple connectivity tests were performed to resolve technical problems. Nine telepharmacy conferences were delivered during 3-h sessions that were held on three consecutive days. Talks were subsequently made available via Web streaming. Attendees were requested to complete a survey to measure their satisfaction with the sessions. RESULTS: The teleconference was attended by a total of 345 persons, and it was subsequently reviewed online via 456 log-in sessions from 10 countries. Technical issues (e.g., poor auditory quality) were resolved on the first day of the event. The rate of attendees' responses on the survey was 30.1%, and satisfaction with the event was generally good. CONCLUSIONS: Telecommunication is a relatively inexpensive approach that may improve pharmacy practices, especially those used to treat patients with cancer in developing countries. Special attention to patient-based telepharmacy education, including the use of cost-effective technology, should be considered.