The decision to offer in-office dispensing at your practice is something that may take some planning, research and consideration. At first glance, some physicians may think that the amount of work that is necessary to qualify is not worth the benefits. However, by looking at some of the benefits to patients, they may be able to see that this move will not only be beneficial for business, but may increase the number of patients in the practice as well. Here are five ways that your customers would benefit from in office dispensing:
1. More Convenience
The biggest reason many patients could benefit from in-office dispensing is due to convenience. The majority of individuals who come by your office do so because they are suffering from some sort of ailment. This typically means that they hardly feel well enough to be out in public, much less make multiple stops for medication. Prescriptions available at your office means one-stop relief for those in need.
2. Less Time Waiting
Additionally, wait times become less of an issue when you offer dispensing services at your practice. Stopping by the pharmacy on the way home from the doctor’s office often turns into time spent in a long line in a busy retail environment. All too often, those in need of medication are also in desperate need of rest. When they are forced to visit a pharmacy at a separate location, they are often subjected to watching as a constant stream of customers ask for advice which tends to slow down a pharmaceutical staff who are desperately trying to fill medications. Instead of waiting forever for the pharmacist to get to their order, your patients could be immediately assisted at your practice.
3. Easier Medication Access
Next, patients stand to benefit from easier access to your most highly recommended medications when you offer an on-site pharmacy. Because you know your practice and your clientele, you would be more apt to carry the types of medications that your patients need frequently. Other pharmacies can run out of select medications, leaving your patients with no other choice but to wait for it to come in or to shop around at yet another location in the search for the prescribed medication. Dispensing the prescriptions at your own practice takes away the possibility that the medication would be unavailable or on back order.
4. Lower Cost
Physicians who dispense medications in their office can also take advantage of competitive pricing to make prescription drugs less expensive for their patients. An in-office pharmacy can often offer better pricing on medications because it is not the sole revenue stream. Many individuals today are actively looking for ways to save on medications. According to Time.com, the amount that individuals now spend on prescription drugs grew five times faster than it ever has before. Your in-office pharmacy would be of benefit as you help patients look for generic medications or even formularies that are in line with what their insurance is willing to cover. You may even find that offering competitive pricing on medications brings more individuals to your practices as new patients simply because of word-of-mouth by your current patients.
5. Increased Patient Compliance
A final benefit is that patients are more likely to listen to specific instructions about taking the medication if they are familiar with those who are filling the prescription. This familiarity comes from having medication dispensing available in your office. The patient is more apt to view the prescription as part of their practitioner’s recommendation instead of that of an unknown third party. Patients are also more likely to call for needed refills on prescriptions when they are familiar with those in your office.
In many parts of the country, private practices and medical clinics are beginning to offer dispensing services to their community of patients. The convenience, cost-savings and trust gained by your patients is something that is sure to increase the numbers in your practice, as more individuals search for affordable and convenient options.