Pharmacists Council of Nigeria urges Nigerian pharmacists to embrace technological innovations, noting that information technology is crucial to taking pharmacy practice to the next level.
Registrar of the PCN, Dr, Elijah Mohammed, made the call while making a presentation at the 2021 Regional Workshop of the African Pharmaceutical Forum in Lagos.
In the presentation Mohammed stressed that pharmacists and pharmacy will gain more from accepting information technology, adding that it would also facilitate national development.
The PCN boss then says, the technological innovations have impacted positively on the lives of millions of people, industries, and institutions, noting that the pharmacy profession has also benefited tremendously from information technology.
Pharmacists, he said, must embrace technological innovations because “it has the potential to shape the nature and values of pharmacy practice, with implications for professional roles and jurisdictions”.
Mohammed stated further that pharmacist should not see IT as something that will impact the profession in the coming years, adding that pharmacy and other professions are already changing as a result of technology.
“Information technology is no longer a futuristic term. We see it daily, changing and disrupting different sectors and industries including health.
“It is, therefore, necessary that pharmacists in all aspects of the practice adapt fast to the new realities of improved practice through the application of these innovations,” he said.
Dr. Mohammed noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has compelled the world, including Africa to intensify technology-enabled remote management of patients, adding that a lot of progress was made in this direction despite the challenge of inadequate infrastructure in the continent.
“These technological innovations include secure web-based platforms, which enable pharmacists to access patients’ information including hospital discharge information for improved care, electronic prescribing, supply, and administration of medicines, barcode medicine identification which helps in proper and easy identification of medicines to reduce error.
“Other innovations include automated dispensing which enables pharmacists to focus on more clinical rules and responsibilities, use of mobile telephones text alerts to remind patients that repeat prescriptions are ready or to offer services, telecare which involves the use of digital communication technology (audio and visual) to provide healthcare consultations and services to patients remotely at home,” he said.
Mohammed stated that the PCN, in line with global best practices, has put various technological innovations in place to improve regulatory efficiency, noting that the Council has designed a digitalised Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement tools on key PCN regulatory processes.
He stated further that the assessment tools for all areas of pharmacy practice have been digitalised, adding that some of them are already being implemented.