‘Nighthawk’ Radiology Services Expand to Hospital Pharmacies: Could Pathology Laboratories Be Next?

Use of telemedicine services in radiology and pharmacy may hold down labor costs and expand services for patients, but expanded use of telemedicine could also disrupt other local medical subspecialty providers, including pathologists

Over the past 15 years, pathologists have watched how radiology has been disrupted by the “nighthawk” model of remote teleradiology services. Now, the nighthawk approach to telepharmacy could disrupt pharmacy as well. As this happens, pathologists may be wondering when their medical specialty will see its first “nighthawk pathology” disruptors.

Remote Pharmacists Improve Hospital Drug Delivery

One company bringing the nighthawk model to hospital pharmacy services is PipelineRx of San Francisco, California. Its executives believe that they can make the drug delivery system in hospitals more efficient by filling labor shortages with remote pharmacists, according to a MedCity News article.

PipelineRx CEO Brian Roberts acknowledges that his company is taking a page from the teleradiology playbook. “We figured we could do the same with pharmacies because of the technology and create an environment and monitor prescriptions in the hospital and allocate it to home pharmacists,” Roberts told MedCity News, adding that it can both trim costs while ensuring adequate monitoring for patient safety. (more…)