Category Archives: Blog

Educate Patients About Drug Interactions - Proficient Rx

How to Best Educate Your Patients About Drug Interactions

Most patients are not educated about their medications or the potential drug interactions that come with them.

They don’t know why they need to take it. They don’t know how to properly take it and they typically have no clue if their medicine will create a negative interaction when taken.

Patients simply trust the instructions given to them by you, their physician. They are not likely to ask questions for a variety of reasons. Some don’t know what questions to ask. Others don’t want to appear dumb, as if they should already know the answer. And still others don’t want to offend you because they know how busy you are and don’t want to interrupt your schedule. They don’t feel their needs are important enough to ask you to stop what you are doing to provide them with education. But that is exactly what you need to do. Educating your patients about their medicines and potential drug interactions can protect both you and the patient from danger.

There are specific things you can do to provide the best education to your patients. Some of these are listed below.

 

Educate Yourself

It would be impossible for you to educate your patients about drug interactions if you didn’t learn them first. The more you know, the more you can share.

There are several ways you can educate yourself on medications and their potential interactions.

  • You can attend a conference specifically on this topic.
  • You can attend an online class that teaches you valuable information on drugs and their interactions.
  • You can meet with pharmaceutical representatives personally or via online programs. You can ask them direct questions about the drugs they develop.
  • You can also spend time conducting your own research. Review studies that involve the medications you prescribe and analyze the results. Furthermore, take better notes on each of your patients who are prescribed prescription medication.

To take better notes, ask your patients better questions about their experiences when taking their medications. This will give you accurate information to help in creating treatment plans.

 

Teach Your Patients About Drug Interactions

Your patients believe everything you say. It is rare that patients question your diagnosis. They believe you are the expert in their health. And this is true. You are the expert in their healthcare. So, as the expert, you can teach patients how to better care for themselves, especially when it comes to drug interactions.

Taking a few extra minutes during a patient visit to thoroughly explain medications can be life changing for your patient. When they understand their medications, they are more likely to adhere to their regimen. This means their chances of improved health significantly increase.

 

Provide Patients with Correct Labels

While not much information can go on a medication’s label, you can still provide important information regarding drug interactions. The more control you have over the label information the better.

With in-office dispensing, you are given the highest authority on what is printed on each label. Providing the prescription to your patients at the point of care allows you to print the label in your office. Before printing, your staff can enter all the information you feel is necessary to keep your patients safe and preventing drug interactions.

 

Provide Appropriate Printed Information

When a patient gets their medications from a pharmacist, they get a bag with numerous pages of written information stapled to the outside. They are asked quickly by the pharmacy staff if they have questions and sent on their way. At no time is the printed information reviewed or explained to the patients. When the patient gets home the written material often goes in the trash. The patients who do choose to look at the information can feel overwhelmed by the technical, medical terminology, graphs and diagrams.

And what about your patients who cannot read?

You can provide individualized printed educational materials for your patients and any caregivers. You can provide information that explains the drug in relation to their diagnosis, as well as any interactions to watch out for.

 

Follow-Up with Your Patients

At the time of their office visit, patients may not have questions regarding their medications or possible drug interactions. They feel the pressure you have on you to complete an office visit quickly and move on to the next patient. Therefore, your patients are trying to cram in as much knowledge as they can in the little time they have with you.

And, they don’t know what they don’t know. Meaning, if they haven’t taken their medication yet, they don’t know what new symptoms will arise in the next few days or weeks.

Following up with your patients, either through a phone call, patient web portal, or email gives both you and your patient the opportunity to assess possible reactions from the medication you prescribed. Patients may not even connect their medication to new symptoms. But you can. Instead of waiting months until you see your patient in-office again, you can evaluate their progress and make needed changes early on. This means your patients do not have to experience unnecessary interactions or negative symptoms for a longer period because you followed up with them soon after their appointment. There are software programs, such as those with in-office dispensing, that can help you schedule and complete follow-ups.

In conclusion, you are the one person who can best educate your patients on potential drug interactions. And you have multiple avenues to do so. Don’t utilize just one way. Instead, take every opportunity to teach your patients about their medicine. The benefits of doing so far outweigh the risks of not educating them. Medication errors are on the rise, especially at pharmacies. These errors can lead to malpractice lawsuits and most importantly, prevents you from reaching your goal of improving the health and life of your patients.

 

Final Thought

Education is one of the best ways to prevent medication errors, especially interactions.

Start with the above listed tips on providing education to patients. You can also get creative and develop specialized education activities that meet the needs of your practice and your patients. It will be a win-win for everyone.

 

Contact Us Today for Direct Dispensing and Telehealth Services to Improve Patient Follow Up - Proficient Rx

In-Office Dispensing for Urgent Care Facilities - Proficient Rx

4 Ways Urgent Care Benefit From In-Office Dispensing

There are many ways that in-office direct dispensing can benefit urgent care facilities; here’s what to know. 

Urgent care facilities provide a critical service for Americans. Service at urgent care clinics is expedient, qualitative, and fulfills a need for quick medical care when a concern can’t wait for an appointment. While the urgent care facility does not replace the primary care clinic, or the services of a family doctor, urgent care clinics provide patients with yet another alternative to choose from, allowing them to further diversify how they engage their own healthcare issues.

The wider array of choices in medicine also signifies how the healthcare industry is moving more towards courting the customer – physicians and executives understand, more than ever, the importance of marketing their skills and providing a positive customer experience.

 

In-Office Medication Dispensing

Just as urgent care is growing, it’s important for practices to differentiate themselves from the competition. One way to do this is to incorporate a practice that acts as a natural extension of urgent care itself: point-of-care in-office medication dispensing. Point-of-care or in-office dispensing is a practice through which physicians and healthcare professionals can sell repackaged medication – from over-the-counter meds to brand and generic prescription drugs – directly to the patients they’re writing scripts for.

It was once common practice for a doctor to provide patients with the medication they need to get better, until that task was given to the pharmacist. In other countries, in-office dispensing is nothing new – but in the US, it’s a growing practice with great potential for physicians looking for an additional revenue source while further increasing the quality of their healthcare services.

 

Convenience and Competence

Surveys indicate that while patients rate the quality of their physician’s services quite highly, there is room for improvement in areas of customer care. Patients today want to be patients as well as consumers, and they seek services that offer competence and quality at affordable prices. They want convenient healthcare services that work – healthcare they can depend on, services they don’t have to wait on, and urgent care they can avail without worrying about the costs of an emergency room visit.

That’s a tall ask, but medication dispensing can help urgent care clinics move in this direction. By eliminating the need to visit a pharmacy for refills or to fulfill scripts, you’re saving your patients a lot of time and you can directly work with them to help them better understand the medication they’re taking, double-check that it’s the right drug, avoid adverse effects due to other medication they may be taking, as well as provide a comfortable and private moment to allow patients to ask any questions they might have – which can be harder to do in the public space of a pharmacy.

Furthermore, you free up your own time and that of your staff typically spent on calling ahead to confirm scripts or check that a pharmacy is stocked for your patient. More time saved is more time you can spend doing other things, whether it’s providing medical services or seeking more patients. Medication dispensing is convenient for yourself and your patients, and further makes your urgent care facility a one-stop-shop for most urgent care issues.

 

Additional Revenue

Some physicians presume that it’s expensive and overly complicated to begin stocking and selling medication – it’d be like running a pharmacy out of your own practice, right? But the truth is that repackaged medication dispensing doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing, and practices can start by buying just two weeks-worth of repackaged medication, focusing mostly on the OTC drugs and prescription medications that they prescribe most often.

It’s true that states and regulatory bodies require a strict paper trail for this stuff, and that there are licenses to pursue and uphold in some states, but companies that specialize in providing repackaged medication often also provide assistance to help practices begin dispensing as soon as possible, with no overhead costs and minimal hassle.

On the flip side, introducing medication dispensing can substantially boost revenue, even at prices that are affordable and comparable to low-cost pharmacies. While you can’t beat free, or some of the promos offered by larger grocery chains and big box stores, the convenience of being able to dispense medication right at the point of care is a big selling point for patients, who subsequently won’t have to worry about remembering to fulfill the script you’ve given them, or make the extra drive to a nearby pharmacy or drugstore.

 

Point-of-Care Dispensing is a Natural Extension of Urgent Care

It all comes back down to extending what urgent care services encapsulate: the basic selling point of an urgent care practice for many physicians is that it adds work-life balance and structure to their day-to-day, allowing them to truly disconnect from work more frequently while still providing critical lifesaving services for many patients.

The basic selling point of an urgent care practice for patients is that it fulfills the need for expedient medical care when a condition or issue isn’t vital enough to warrant a visit to the ER, but requires faster attention than a local primary care practice.

Medication dispensing therefore creates the ability to deliver quick, quality healthcare while granting immediate access to necessary medications for. Rather than adding what patients might perceive to be an additional barrier to their ideal healthcare, point-of-care dispensing provides them with the care they have come to expect, as well as added convenience they will come to appreciate.

Choosing the right partner for implementing medication dispensing is crucial. State-specific requirements and DEA administrative inspections aside, the successful implementation of point-of-care dispensing requires responsive and digitalized inventory management, integrating the dispensing system with your patients’ EMR, billing, and more. Here at Proficient Rx, our easy-to-use web-based dispensing platform is designed to help our clients get started as soon as possible, minimizing complexity, and making it easier than ever to properly organize and start dispensing medication in-office.

 

Contact Us Today for Medication Dispensing - ProficientRx

Telemedicine for Patient Follow Up Visits - Proficient Rx

Improving Patient Follow Up Rate Through Telehealth and Direct Dispensing

Patient follow up visits are associated with a reduction in readmission and positive outcomes, especially in hospital and clinical settings. Telehealth and direct dispensing can help to improve patient follow up rate.

When doctors and physicians can encourage their patients to come in for a post-operative or post-treatment check-up, particularly in cases of high (but not extremely high) readmission risk, they can substantially reduce that risk. However, despite the data supporting patient follow up visits, the US reports that anywhere from 5 to 55 percent of patients fail to show up to their follow up appointments. These “no-shows” are defined as “patients who neither kept nor canceled scheduled appointments”. Since identifying the problem, researchers are working on identifying potential influencing factors and effective solutions.

 

Why Patient Follow Up Rate Matters

Regardless of whether a patient visits a physician for a general checkup, an injury, disease, or a chronic condition, it’s rare for a patient’s care and recovery to begin and conclude within a single visit. The process towards a positive outcome is usually longer than that, sometimes spanning a few weeks, sometimes requiring years of treatment.

While the physician plays an important role in guiding a patient’s recovery and providing them with immediate care for acute symptoms as well as medication recommendations, they cannot spend every moment of the day managing their patient’s health. Patient follow up visits, then, serve as important reminders to patients to schedule an appointment after the initial visit to ensure that things are developing in the right direction and that no new symptoms of issues have developed in the interim.

A low follow up rate would suggest that patients are not coming back a second time, which can lead to poorer outcomes, poorer patient-physician relationships, and a poorer record of a patient’s health and how their condition is developing. When patient follow up visits are encouraged, physicians can catch adverse effects and complications earlier on, or simply reassure a patient that their recovery is going well (which is always a good thing to hear).

 

How Telehealth Can Improve Follow Up Rate

Patients understand that follow up is important. They recognize that failing to show up for an appointment to check up on them after treatment can be dangerous. And yet, many still end up being a “no-show”. The burning question is: why? 

The answer is predictably complex and depends on the circumstances of the patient. Even in a largely nonindigent suburban population where the cost of healthcare was unlikely to be a factor, many failed to show up citing difficulty getting off work (lack of time), having little understanding of the trajectory of their disease (lack of medical literacy), and disability. Furthermore, it seems that the severity of a patient’s condition does not tend to have a significant impact on the likelihood of attending follow up visits.

The cited issues would benefit immensely from direct dispensing and telehealth services, which aim to reduce inconvenience and save patients a significant amount of time and energy while providing a high-quality service via safely encrypted HD video and audio.

Modern telehealth software will play an important role in helping healthcare providers rapidly modernize and offer services to patients who cannot rely on them due to disability, cost, inconvenience, or forgetfulness. The ease-of-use of eHealth programs and software also helps improve patient adherence, as it’s just much easier to check in and get in touch with a doctor via video than it is to adhere to a physical appointment, particularly now when one-on-one contact is still a safety concern.

As patients grow increasingly worried about privacy in the Information Age, healthcare providers must also anticipate and address worries and fears surrounding how their information is stored and used, and what degree of privacy a video communications platform or biometric wearables might offer them.

 

It’s Often About Patient Education 

One of the important roles a physician must play is as an advisor to their patient’s health and wellbeing. As we continue to move away from the model of medical authority towards a model of a healthier patient-physician relationship, we must continue to provide clear advice and understanding to our patients.

We should not simply ask a patient to take medication because it will help, but provide them with the means to understand:

  • How their medication will help
  • How their condition might develop
  • What to watch out for
  • What type of home care to consider
  • Other helpful information to guide them towards a much better and clearer picture of their overall health and condition

Encouraging patients to take charge of their health is not only a great way to foster and improve patient engagement, but research has been making it increasingly clear that patient education can improve health outcomes and help patients make smarter, more informed decisions, including those related to patient follow up and adherence.

 

Direct Dispensing and Patient Adherence

As patient adherence continues to be one of the most pressing concerns in the healthcare industry, costing us around 125,000 lives a year, the roles that telehealth and direct dispensing can play in improving patient adherence are critical.

By leveraging the greater demand for efficiency and convenience, offering a safer way to improve patient follow up and adherence during COVID-19 (and beyond), and by removing barriers of access to clearer information and quality medication, physicians can continue to optimize their practice to improve short-term outcomes and long-term adherence.

Proficient Rx offers physicians and other healthcare providers a turnkey web-based direct dispensing system, supplying eligible clients with repackaged branded as well as generic OTC and prescription medication. Designed to be easy-to-use and accessible via any secure hardware, our web-based direct dispensing system gives physicians the ability to easily track and manage inventory, print custom labels, and provide crucial medication at the point-of-care.

Given the growing importance of telehealth and eHealth services, we also provide a virtual visit software solution directly through our dispensing portal, so you can help your patients easily and conveniently seek follow up care from the comfort of their own home.

Our software is HIPAA-compliant, DEA-approved, and supports encrypted HD video and audio. To ensure patient safety, we also help physicians set up dispensing via curbside pick-up at the providers location, so nearby patients don’t need to risk getting the medication they need elsewhere.

 

Contact Us Today for Direct Dispensing and Telehealth Services to Improve Patient Follow Up - Proficient Rx

Telemedicine Benefits - Proficient Rx

6 Telemedicine Benefits: Why It Is So Important During These Uncertain Times

As the country is changing the way it operates due to COVID-19, there has been a rise of telehealth, and these 6 telemedicine benefits show how it can positively impact both patients and practitioners. 

The US is facing a serious public health crisis in the form of COVID-19. With most of the country abiding by stay-at-home orders, save for essential services, many Americans with chronic health conditions who rely on regular visits to the local doctor or a nearby clinic find themselves worried about their immediate future.

To help provide critical medical care and organize the delivery of necessary medications, healthcare providers around the country are turning to telemedicine as an effective means to continue caring for the country’s most vulnerable.  There are many telemedicine benefits for both patients and practitioners.

Enforcing Stay-At-Home Rules

The people who require ongoing medical care the most are often also the people who would suffer the most from contracting COVID-19. The disease, caused by a novel coronavirus, attacks and affects the body’s respiratory system and heart, posing a greater threat to people with autoimmune conditions, diabetes, asthma, cancer, and other debilitating and chronic health problems.

Telemedicine is important to help people who are at-risk stay at home.

Keeping Clinic & ICU Capacity High

By curbing the rate at which the virus burns through the population, the government is slowing down the rate at which infections spread. This is important to ensure that those who do get sick are not turned down by medical services because all nearby clinics and hospitals are at-capacity and cannot accept any more patients.

While the death rate for the virus is low, and it rarely causes complications among younger patients, this helps the virus spread faster and gravely affect those who are more likely to encounter complications during an infection. But one of the biggest telemedicine benefits is that it can help slow the spread of the virus and reduce the rate at which hospital ICUs are filling up.

Improved Medication Adherence & Health Monitoring

By leveraging existing and new technologies, healthcare providers can more easily check up on their patients through telehealth services, stimulating medication adherence.

Secure, encrypted web-based platforms that can easily be accessed by physicians via in-office computers and their phone alike allow them to track and monitor the wellbeing of their most at-risk patients, and provide timely remote care (or immediate medical attention, in the case of an emergency).

Improved Access to Healthcare Services

Some of the barriers to better healthcare for people include cost and geographical distance. This is especially true for the elderly and those with functional mobility issues because of a disability.

One of the most beneficial telemedicine benefits is that it can greatly reduce both the cost and the importance of distance, reserving the need to make a physical appointment with a doctor for certain cases of diagnosis or treatment.

Convenience & Ease of Use

Web-based applications for the management and care of patients have grown in viability. Physicians can now store and pull information from the cloud without worrying about it being stored digitally on a single device, all while relying on secure encryption to protect against data theft and ensure HIPAA compliance.

Such web-based solutions are easy-to-use, and provide convenience for the physician and the patient alike, as patients can get in touch with their doctors without worrying about transportation costs, time away from home, risk of infection, or childcare while at the doctor’s.

Simple No-Contact Medication Delivery

Initial stockpiles are running low, and many patients who need access to critical medication to control their chronic condition are seeking solutions. Medication delivery is an important part of stopping the spread of COVID-19 and ensuring that the most vulnerable among us can stay at home, by bringing medication straight to their doorsteps, or by organizing no-contact curbside medication pickups so patients can safely retrieve their medication without endangering their health in the process.

This will continue to be an important service in the future, for patients who cannot afford to make the trip to a local pharmacy or the doctor’s office.

Other Telemedicine Benefits

COVID-19 has greatly accelerated the adoption and implementation of telemedicine as an effective alternative in the continued care of chronic and urgent health issues. Previous barriers to access, such as limited coverage through most public and private insurance providers, have been addressed and set aside given the current circumstances.

This greatly reduces the two major problems that telemedicine services had in the past, namely availability and cost of implementation for providers. With smarter, more efficient telemedicine solutions cropping up throughout the industry, the shift to telehealth will have a lasting impact, even after this crisis is over.

Telemedicine is no replacement to an in-person interaction with a physician, and diagnostic medicine suffers as it becomes harder to collect and test samples over physical distances. But there are many telemedicine benefits and it acts as an auxiliary service and crucial alternative. There has never been greater need than today – and it will continue to reduce costs and improve convenience for many patients in years to come.

Proficient Rx specializes in helping physicians provide in-office dispensing services to patients in need and is now providing virtual telehealth services to our providers. We provide repackaged FDA-approved brand, generic, and prescription drugs, and help physicians and healthcare providers quickly organize and implement point-of-care dispensing via a simple-to-use web-based dispensing platform.

 

Contact Us for Telehealth and Telemedicine - Proficient Rx

In-House Dispensing to Protect Patients from COVID-19 - Proficient Rx

How In-House Dispensing Helps Protect Your Patients

As the world around us is changing due to COVID-19, in-house dispensing is more important than ever.

The novel coronavirus (a disease dubbed “COVID-19” by the WHO) has swept the world and led to stringent lockdowns and quarantine measures in countries on every continent.

One of many different coronaviruses (named such for their shape, which reminds researchers of the sun’s corona), COVID-19 causes severe respiratory symptoms, digestive symptoms and fever. The virus’ incubation period is currently estimated at 2-14 days, with only 1 percent of patients exhibiting symptoms 15 or more days after infection.

How In-House Dispensing Promotes Social Distancing

To combat rising infection rates and ensure that healthcare systems around the world are prepared to deal with a growing number of acutely sick patients, countries are urging their citizens to stay at home as often as they can afford to, and practice social distancing while out in public.

Some countries and regions have implemented stringent lockdown policies to prevent people from leaving their homes without an urgent reason, while other countries are implementing curfews and encouraging frequent handwashing and disinfecting at work.

Many are worried for the health and safety of their families, especially in people with chronic conditions where complications are more likely to occur. In an effort to protect the most vulnerable among us, more physicians should turn towards the practice of in-house dispensing to provide an additional outlet for critical medication, and help those most likely to struggle with the virus further avoid making an extra trip to the pharmacy. Doing so is critical, as the most vulnerable among us need as much time as they can get before treatment becomes necessary.

A spike in infections may cause an overload in countless healthcare systems across the world, as hospitals are limited in the number of patients they can treat within their ICUs. Slowing the spread of the virus will not stop the inevitable, but it will delay it enough to give healthcare systems the time and space needed to treat everyone. Therefore, it is important to practice social distancing, and to flatten the statistical curve.

Access To Needed Medications Remain Crucial 

There is no vaccine or medication on the market meant to combat the novel coronavirus yet, which had been completely unknown to the medical world prior to this winter. While some doctors have reported success in some cases utilizing a variety of existing antiviral drugs, there is no accepted or proven treatment regimen for an infection. Several studies are underway, and several companies have committed countless hours towards a working cure.

But that does not mean that medication isn’t critical for many, especially the most vulnerable to the virus, who rely on medication to combat chronic conditions. However, access to such medication may be compromised in times of lockdown due to transport issues, lack of supply, and fear of infection.

It’s in such cases that in-office doctor dispensing can help physicians provide direct care for their patients without the need to refer them to pharmacies that may be further out of their way.

Protecting At-Risk Patients

Patients who are most at risk are those with pre-existing heart conditions, respiratory issues, asthma, a history of heart disease, and diabetes. Other patients who may be compromised and must continue to fulfill their prescriptions include patients with weakened immune systems due to organ transplants, an autoimmune condition, or an overactive immune system in cases of IBD and other diseases.

The elderly, many of whom struggle with numerous chronic conditions, are also more likely to suffer from complications from an infection with COVID-19.

Retail pharmacies are an important part of the healthcare system, and continue to do an important job of being a hub for medication access – but in times of crisis where patients cannot afford to expose themselves or require the help of a trained medical professional who may better assist them and assuage their fears regarding how the coronavirus may affect their health given their medical history, in-house dispensing will become an important alternative that may save lives.

In-House Dispensing and the Most Vulnerable Among Us 

Continuity of care is increasingly important, especially in uncertain times where those most vulnerable to COVID-19 must remain in contact with their physician and update them as soon as symptoms develop.

Just as we must remind ourselves and those younger and healthier to think of those who are neither, and to stem the spread of this disease through rigorous hygiene and a stay-at-home attitude, it’s important to work towards better ways to care for the most vulnerable by providing safer access to critical medication, including a safe alternative to the public pharmacy. The full scope and consequences of COVID-19 are yet to be explored, but we must prepare for the worst.

Here at Proficient Rx, we aid physicians, specialists, clinics, and hospitals in setting up and getting started with point-of-care and in-house dispensing, giving their patients access to the medication they need right within the comfort of their own office, without the need to check for stock in nearby pharmacies, and redirect patients to outside sources.

Proficient Rx is a provider of FDA-approved repackaged generic, brand, and OTC pharmaceuticals, helping healthcare providers become a one-stop-shop for medical diagnoses and effective pharmacological treatment. We understand the importance of keeping common medications in stock in such times of crisis and aim to help physicians provide their patients with a better service by helping them get easier access to life-saving medication.

Web Based Systems for Dispensing Medication - ProficientRx

Why Do You Want Web Based Systems for Medication Dispensing?

During this time of uncertainty, web based systems for medication dispensing can help healthcare providers effectively dispense and deliver medication to patients.

Medication dispensing may be more crucial now than ever, as today’s ongoing crisis is revealing an increased need for effectively sourced and secure means to dispense medication.  Our existing healthcare system will be inevitably strained as COVID-19 continues to make its path through the world and given stringent ongoing and future lockdown measures and transportation woes, patients will require easier access to lifesaving medication, including prescription drugs for chronic conditions.

However, many clinics and doctors worry about the complications and overhead costs of implementing an effective medication dispensing system within their offices. While it might seem like a sharp increase in responsibilities and management issues, the reality is that there are easy-to-use web based systems for medication dispensing that allow clinics to drastically cut down on the time they spend communicating with pharmacies about patient scripts, while providing clinics with the means to begin dispensing repackaged medication immediately without any overhead costs, ridiculous learning curves, or significant waiting periods.

There are many benefits to picking web solutions for medication dispensing over a desktop application/software. Given the urgency of the crisis we find ourselves in, widespread applicability and ease-of-use constitute as priorities when picking healthcare solutions.

What Sets Web Based Systems Apart?

Web based systems for medication dispensing, like any other web based application, reaps the benefits of being disconnected from the need for specific operating systems, platforms, or hardware. When building a web app, developers do not have to account for the specifications of the machine they must program for, as the application will run on a browser, regardless of what the customer is using to load said browser.

Web based systems almost always require an internet connection (some can offer limited functionality through an offline version) while desktop applications can provide full functionality without the internet, but medication dispensing in general must rely on an effective and responsive internet connection to properly manage requests for additional medication and to dispense medication, the connectivity issue a moot point. This is further reinforced by the fact that a web connection is needed to provide and integrate with EHR.

On the other hand, web based systems provide a host of benefits particularly for physicians and clinics looking to get started on implementing medication dispensing quickly:

No Installation Required and No More Updating

The biggest immediate benefit to using a web based medication dispensing system is that customers must simply log themselves into the web app through their browser, and can immediately access the newest and most reliable version of the system without waiting for any downloads, installations, or updates.

No precious time is wasted downloading and installing weekly or monthly changes, and clinics don’t have to worry about the costs or logistics of downloading and installing new software on multiple machines. Instead, the very same web based dispensing system can be accessed across multiple devices, as long as the physician and their staff save their access information.

Fewer Hardware and Software Compatibility Issues

One of the central benefits of a web based app is that it can be run on nearly any hardware or software that supports the browser the app is being accessed through. For most apps, this even includes mobile devices, as well as older hardware.  Operating systems are also largely irrelevant, as all modern operating systems on phones and computers alike let you run most major web browsers.

This means you do not need to worry about hardware or software compatibility issues, and you don’t need to download or install different applications for Android, iOS, Mac, Linux, and/or Windows. In fact, as mentioned previously, you don’t need to download or install anything.

All Patient Data is Secured

This one is particularly important, due to the strict privacy laws and moral considerations regarding patient data, and the importance of preserving anonymous patient data for the use of life-saving research, while ensuring that patients do not need to fear that their information is being commercialized or used for any malicious or unauthorized purposes.

When entering patient data into a web based medication dispensing system for the purposes of tracking patient medication intake and ensuring the lawful and healthful use of medication, all data is securely stored in the web, where it is encrypted.

Simplified Support and Implementation 

Web based application developers can also provide quick support for customers without needing you to do much on your part – no need to call in an IT guy to troubleshoot software or hardware compatibility issues, firewall problems, or other issues that often might arise on your part.

Through Proficient Rx, your source of repackaged medications and easy-to-use medication dispensing solutions, you can begin distributing medications to your patients as quickly as possible, without a hefty overhead. Our free-based application helps clients immediately implement the systems needed to:

  • Accurately track and dispense life-saving medication
  • Keep an eye on their inventory
  • Better manage their patients’ health

We at Proficient Rx provide FDA-approved repackaged generic, brand, and OTC pharmaceuticals, as well as the means to begin distributing them from the comfort of your own office.

Get in touch with us today to start dispensing medication.

 

Contact Us Today for Medication Dispensing - ProficientRx

Improve Revenue With Office Dispensing - ProficientRx

Revenue from Dispensing Can Significantly Improve Profitability

Medical practices are seeing a decrease in revenue, but with the introduction of in-office dispensing, you can actually improve profitability.

The reasons for shrinking revenues in medical practices are varied, and each is as equally frustrating as the next – from increasing government regulation to declining reimbursements.

Some of this shrinking can be observed in the declining number of solo physicians, as more and more physicians are moving back into a model of being employed rather than being their own employer, and as a 2019 Medical Economics report revealed:

  • Only 22 percent of survey respondents claimed that their practice was “doing better than a year ago”
  • 52 percent who said it was doing “about the same”
  • 26 percent who “are doing worse”

Ways of improving profitability are in high demand among physicians, and medication dispensing is a particularly attractive option for several different reasons.

Economies of scale are not really something physicians can take advantage of, as they cannot effectively split themselves into several people. However, physicians can employ a variety of tactics for improving profitability, through complementary services and vertical integration. In-office medication dispensing presents a great opportunity to reduce medication non-adherence, improve reputation, ensure better patient outcomes, reduce inconvenience for patients, and create an additional revenue stream for one’s practice.

Why Consider Physician Dispensing for Your Practice? 

In-office medication dispensing is a great option for physicians throughout the country, in states where dispensing physicians are well within their right to do so. While the practice is more common in other countries, it’s been less common in the US, where medication dispensing has been largely the job of the pharmacist.

But studies have shown that patients are comfortable with, and even prefer point-of-care medication dispensing, as it is immediate and convenient. Some of the reasons that physician dispensing is a patient-centered practice include the fact that:

  • It allows them to start their treatment immediately.
  • Their doctor can keep better track of their medication and issue follow-up requests.
  • They can ask private questions in the privacy of their doctor’s office rather than the public counter of a pharmacy.
  • They can save themselves the time and money it might take to go out of their way to the nearest pharmacy at some point during the near future.

In-office dispensing also saves you the trouble of dealing with pharmacy calls for clarification, calling ahead of time to ensure that they’re adequately stocked for a specific prescription, or dealing with wait times.

Physician Dispensing and Medication Adherence

Medication adherence (or, more accurately, the lack thereof) is a serious issue accounting for an estimated 50 percent of treatment failures, 125,000 annual deaths, and a substantial portion of annual hospitalizations in the US. 30 percent of patients do not fill their prescriptions. Described as the accuracy with which a patient adheres to the medication regimen given to them by their physician, medication adherence issues can be blamed on a number of different factors, most notably including rising drug costs, forgetfulness, and inconvenience.

Anything done to tackle the issue can massively improve patient outcomes and save lives. Physician dispensing can improve adherence by helping physicians ensure that their patients get the medication they need with the right dosage, and with a full overview of the patient’s other medications and potential counterindications.

Physicians can also emphasize the importance of adhering to the medication’s instructions and help ensure that their patients fully understand and remember when and how to take their medication, and how much.

Physician Dispensing Can Boost Your Revenue in Other Ways

Physician dispensing can help you boost your practice’s reputation through:

  • Better outcomes
  • Increased efficiency
  • Increased convenience
  • Take on more patients and appointments
  • Better reputation as a practice

This leads to more patients, more revenue, and more social revenue as well. Your reputation as a healthcare practitioner is critical, and directly relevant to the longevity of your practice, as well as your legacy as a professional. While some levy criticism at medication dispensing as a practice that inspires a conflict of interest and leads to over-prescription and predatory practices, medication dispensing improves access to medication, and helps you more directly address the issue of medication adherence by identifying the barriers your patients face.

Important Questions to Consider in Physician Dispensing   

The first obstacle is logistics. To begin dispensing medication, you may have to first ensure that you’re able to do so in your state. Some states require annual fees to allow dispensing. There may be overhead involved in procuring, organizing, and managing your inventory of medication. You may have to deal with DEA audits and other unforeseen costs.

We at Proficient Rx offer such services without any overhead, allowing our clients to focus solely on the cost of the medication itself, by providing DEA and FDA-approved repackaged brand, generic, and over-the-counter medication.

With an easy-to-use web-based service, Proficient Rx can train office staff to begin managing inventory, keep track of sales and receipts, and ensure a clean and properly maintained paper trail. We help our clients stay accredited and deal with the necessary paperwork to begin implementing in-office dispensing and provide live customer support to answer every question you may have.

Putting Patient Convenience First

How To Make Life Easy For Your Patients

The face and nature of medicine is rapidly shifting. Physicians are expected to work with patients as healthcare providers, rather than taking on an authoritative tone. Digital technology is being leveraged to provide better care, partially through the improved collection and analysis of patient information. The continued development of AI will lead to faster and more accurate diagnoses, better analysis of patient information for more accurate care, fraud detection, and error prevention.

Through the widespread proliferation of the smartphone and advances in incorporating developing technologies like the blockchain into healthcare, patients and providers alike will have easier and faster access to complete patient information through electronic health records, and researchers will have a better data pool to draw from when working on treatments and developing medicines.

Meanwhile, the growth enjoyed by urgent care centers suggests that patients are looking for more convenience and speed in healthcare. Practices and providers must embrace a new kind of customer-oriented experience, where patients place a premium not only on quality care, but ease-of-use. For many clinics and hospitals, a new priority has unfolded: improving the customer experience. To do so, they must leverage existing and unfolding technologies and introduce new training for their staff.

 

Patients Want Convenience

If patient surveys are anything to go by, patients want faster access to medical services, especially in convenient locations. Convenience is the name of the game at the moment, and practices must strive to improve customer experiences without sacrificing quality of care. By making life easier for your patients, you’re giving them reasons to value your practice more than the competition.

On the note of customer care, surveys indicate that there is room for growth in the customer experience department. Patients rarely complain about the quality of their healthcare and rate their physicians highly – but report poor experiences with support staff. Small frustrations fueled by a lack of transparency can drive patients away, even when the medical care they are receiving is great.

Most hospitals and executives understand this, as surveys indicate. But what can practices do to facilitate the transition towards a more pro-consumer experience?

 

Lower Wait Times, Better Support Staff

Patients wait an average of 18 minutes and 13 seconds before they see their physician. Practices know that wait times are frustrating for patients, but it’s unrealistic to try and eliminate wait times entirely. Instead, aim to improve wait times, and make wait times more pleasant by hiring more staff to work the front desk, and making it standard practice for support staff to greet and address patients in a friendly, accommodating fashion.

Changes such as standing up when patients enter, greeting them appropriately, and wishing them a good day when they leave can have a simple yet profound impact on the way patients view your practice. The more welcomed and respected they feel, the less likely they are to be irritated by a few minutes extra wait.

Extra staff means better, streamlined work. The front desk has a lot to do on a busy day – they must accommodate patients, answer calls, and organize schedules. If it’s clear that your front desk is being overwhelmed, hire a helping hand to better divide the work. The faster these tasks are performed, the better. Try to make it a rule of thumb for your staff to be in at least thirty minutes before the first appointment, so everything is setup and ready before the first patient arrives.

Encourage patients to book appointments earlier in the day if they want little to no wait times – the first and second appointments are almost always going to be on-time, with later appointments having to account for the little things that get in the way of work on a daily basis.

 

Timely Follow-Up

Practices today must shift from dispensing medical services simply on a case-by-case episodic basis, and instead move towards fostering long-term continuous relationships with patients. Streamline care by making it easier for yourself to access and review a patient’s EHR through better data management, and focus on improving your own customer care skills, to help patients feel welcomed and truly cared for.

Outside of the office, schedule and send routine follow-up messages along the patient’s preferred method of communication (something you can store alongside their profile within your own database). Timely follow-up and continued correspondence let a patient know that you care, and that you’re available.

 

Direct Medication Dispensing

In-office, or point-of-care dispensing can be an important tool to further introduce customer convenience into your practice. In the states where in-office dispensing is available, practices would do well to leverage this and further set themselves apart from the competition.

By prescribing and dispensing medication at the point-of-care, you save your patients the time and energy it takes to make a trip to the nearest pharmacy, and it gives you the ability to better control and enforce medication adherence, as well as giving them the time and place to ask their questions and educate them about their treatment.

Among the many benefits attributed to direct dispensing, a big one is convenience and immediacy. Most surveyed patients responded that they would prefer direct dispensing to the alternative and enjoy the fact that point-of-care dispensing would allow them to begin their treatment right away.

 

Embrace Change in Medication Dispensing and Healthcare Services

Many practices recognize the need for an improved customer experience. When trying to streamline crucial processes or introduce conveniences like direct dispensing, it helps to partner up with the right solutions provider. The right partner can help practices avoid hefty overhead costs, logistical issues, legal mishaps, and the consequences of poor implementation.

Proficient Rx provides private practices, hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare professionals with the means to begin in-office dispensing within a few days, with an easy-to-use web-based dispensing program and access to repackaged brand, generic, and OTC medication. Proficient Rx’s web-based software helps businesses track and manage their inventory, so they’re safely able to oversee when and to whom they’re providing medication in-office.

Improving Medication Adherence

Increasing Medication Adherence

Medication adherence is not a new issue but remains a significant one as we move into a new decade in 2020. Simply put, drugs do nothing for a patient who does not ingest them – and if we cannot ensure that our patients are properly adhering to their advised medication regimen, we cannot properly address their symptoms and treat them.

Medication adherence is neither a simple issue nor a small one, as several different studies have indicated that more than half of people do not take their medication as instructed by their healthcare provider. Consequently, medication nonadherence (a lack of medication adherence) is linked to poor health outcomes, poorer quality of life, and much higher costs for the healthcare system, and the economy in general.

Various products, interventions, and techniques have been developed and devised in an effort to reduce medication nonadherence, but with little success.

It remains difficult to pinpoint what works and what doesn’t, as patients share different reasons for their medication nonadherence, including simple forgetfulness, inability to afford medication, poor memory due to their condition, lack of time, lack of medical literacy, or fear of adverse effects. When working to identify ways to help you increase medication adherence in your patients, it helps to employ strong listening skills, and prepare to utilize a number of potential fixes and interventions.

 

What is Medication Adherence? 

Several definitions have been proposed for this phenomenon, which was first studied in 1968, yet is likely much older. The fact that some patients will not listen to medical advice is a given, but it becomes a serious problem when a significant number of patients do not follow their healthcare provider’s instructions for care.

The WHO offers a concrete definition of adherence: “the extent to which a person’s behavior – taking medication, following a diet, and or executing lifestyle changes – corresponds with the agreed recommendations from a provider.” When a patient displays nonadherence, they are indirectly communicating that they face a significant roadblock preventing them from procuring and/or taking the right medication, in the right dosage, at the right time.

More than even the development of new drugs, the improvement of adherence strongly influences health outcomes for the better. It is, simply put, in every physician’s best interest to do their utmost to maximize adherence in their patients.

 

Medication Adherence is Critical in Chronic Conditions

More so than in other illnesses, a lack of medication adherence is a significant problem in patients with chronic conditions. Currently, roughly 50 percent to 60 percent of all people affected by chronic illnesses display some form of nonadherence, for one reason or another.

Chronic illnesses need to be managed carefully and consistently, and failure to do so can lead to the development of worse symptoms, or rapid deterioration in quality of life and overall health.

Patients with chronic illnesses are often regularly in touch with their primary care providers or the respective specialist who is treating them, yet despite that, many continue to struggle to adhere to the treatment they are given. More needs to be done to ensure that patients with chronic conditions are carefully monitored and interviewed to ensure medication adherence.

 

Increasing Adherence: What’s in the Way? 

To identify the best way to address medication adherence issues, it’s important to understand what stands in the way of adherence for any given patient. There is a litany of reasons why a person refuses to take their medication or stick to the recommended treatment plan, and most of these reasons develop over time. No one simply decides to stop following their doctor’s orders. Getting to that point requires a number of different mental roadblocks, which may contradict advice given by a medical professional.

Research does show that five general factors can explain nonadherence: economic or social challenges, healthcare system related challenges, therapy related challenges, condition related challenges, and patient related challenges.

To further break this down, the first and largely most important roadblock against adherence is treatment cost and socioeconomic condition. Patients who cannot afford their medication will not take it.

Among healthcare systems, factors that influence adherence include the patient-provider relationship, prescriber follow-up, the complication of having multiple providers (and conflicting advice), and the nature of the provision itself (pharmacies that are inconveniently located, waitlists, complications).

Factors related to a patient’s condition can also affect adherence. If the condition is severe enough or if certain characteristics affect adherence (such as mental health issues in cases of schizophrenia and bipolar disease, or memory problems in dementia), interventions must be applied to address these issues directly. The nature of a condition may also affect its treatment. Patients begin to forget taking their medication if their condition is chronic or stop taking it once symptoms subside (despite advice against this).

Patient related factors can be more complex to tackle, as they may require identifying and dispelling a patient’s own views on what is required, as well as their health literacy, and their own motivation regarding self-care. Some patients don’t want to get better.

Therapy related factors relate to nonadherence due to fear of potential adverse drug reactions, or the perceived excessive length of the treatment, or the intimidating number of medications needed to treat the condition. The more complex a therapy, the harder it is for a patient to completely stick to the program.

Each of these factors represents a different roadblock, with its own potential solutions. Physicians need to identify a series of measures that they can implement to better screen patients for potential factors of nonadherence, alongside measures they can take to tackle said factors before they become a problem. Proposed solutions include behavioral intervention (including therapeutic techniques that have proven successful, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy), a better patient-provider relationship, simpler language, measures taken to improve a patient’s health literacy, and direct dispensing (and other means of simplifying the delivery of medication).

 

How Direct Dispensing Can Help Physicians Influence Adherence

Direct dispensing or physician dispensing presents an opportunity to improve medication adherence in most states, where it is an allowed and regulated practice. While physicians traditionally administered and provided medication, that responsibility has largely shifted to pharmacies, while physicians are tasked with prescribing medication instead.

However, systems can be implemented in many clinics and practices to streamline the process and ensure that patients receive the medication they need upfront, without going through a pharmacy to follow-up on a patient’s adherence.

ProficientRx works with physicians and other healthcare professionals to implement an effective system to help practices and clinics begin direct dispensing to their patients. With a responsive customer care team, an easy-to-use web-based service, and the resources to help businesses throughout the country, we at ProficientRx help you get your clinic on track for implementing point-of-care dispensing as quickly as possible, depending on your location and state.

Specializing in repackaged medication, we ensure that our clients are stocked with a responsive and lightweight dispensing program, catering to private practices, care organizations, hospitals, and clinics. With over 50 years of experience, we adhere strictly to every regulatory program in the industry, and always work closely with our clients to ensure that their dispensing services comply with every rule and are up to the latest standards.

 

Why You Need Medication At Your Urgent Care

Why It’s Important to Have Medication on Hand at Your Urgent Care

With an estimated 600 new urgent care clinics opening annually, any physicians managing an urgent care clinic are aware that their segment of the market is growing, and that there is a new demand for faster services among many patients.

Naturally, urgent care has rapidly grown over the past few years as Americans begin demanding these faster services – for when they don’t feel the need to visit a specialist or their primary care physician, and for when they know they aren’t in immediate danger and need a visit to the emergency room. While some might assume that urgent care facilities have been around for quite some time, they are in fact very recent. The first known use of the word occurred in the 1970s, and it wasn’t until 2017 that Merriam-Webster added the term “urgent care” to the dictionary. And clearly, urgent care facilities are fulfilling a very specific demand. Only three percent of patients visiting an urgent care clinic need to be referred to an ER.

As urgent care physicians are well-aware of, cost is another consideration: a visit to the ER can be exceptionally pricy, and in an economy with record-high consumer debt and with one in five Americans possessing absolutely no savings for a major emergency, urgent care clinics provide a more cost-effective alternative for when a problem does not seem to warrant a precautionary visit to the ER.

Many Americans also do not have a primary care provider to begin with. About 17 percent of women and 28 percent of men belong to that demographic, and for many, medical emergencies and problems are rare enough that the pressure to swap from an urgent clinic to primary care just isn’t there. Instead, urgent care provides many with what they’ve always sought: easier, faster, and more convenient care.

With such rising responsibilities and a patient base that seems to grow and insist on the benefits that urgent care provide, it is becoming increasingly important to urgent care clinics to adjust for these expectations and rise up to the occasion. One way to do so is through improving your clinic’s offering, by implementing in-office dispensing.

 

Physician Dispensing for Your Practice

Urgent care clinics are handling about 89 million visits a year, accounting for roughly 29 percent of all primary care visits in the US. That number is slated to grow, and with it comes the need to continue to serve patients dutifully and safely.

While many urgent care clinics are situated near or directly attached to pharmacies, not all have this luxury, and as urgent care clinics continue to balloon in number across the country, the need for a steady and well-stocked inventory of essential medication may grow. Rather than relying on a nearby pharmacy to help provide patient care, another option to help overcome the industry’s growing pains is to consider in-office dispensing.

Through physician dispensing, urgent care physicians can better oversee their patient’s wellbeing, without losing focus on what separates the urgent care clinic from the primary care physician: convenience and speed.

 

Physician Dispensing Allows for Better Outcomes

More than just helping patients fulfill their needs better and faster, physician dispensing can lead to better outcomes. An estimated 20-30 percent of prescriptions simply are not filled, and many do not follow prescribed treatment courses. Failure to adhere to medication is one of the leading causes of poor outcomes in the US, and at times, it is driven by costs, and by a lack of convenience.

By pushing back against nonadherence with in-office dispensing and face-to-face consultation, urgent care clinics can ensure that patients walk away better informed and equipped with medication they can afford to take in the long-term. Better outcomes lead to healthier and happier patients, more recommendations, and more business for your clinic.

 

Medication Urgent Clinics Need to Stock

Urgent care clinics can provide a wide coverage of care, but there are specific kinds of medication that urgent care clinics often need to have in inventory, and others that are not typically carried. When dispensing medication in-office, it’s important to stock antivirals, antibiotics, short-term pain medication, and maintenance meds that can help serve as a one-time solution for patients who otherwise need a prescription refilled by a primary care physician.

As important as a supply of medication is, it’s even more important to be able to refer cases to good specialists and primary care physicians if they need long-term treatment.

Some patients misunderstand the service that an urgent care clinic provides, or the treatment they are in need of is much more long-term than what an urgent care clinic typically provides. And while urgent care clinics can and will fill out prescriptions, and even offer prescription medication in-office, patients will have to visit their own doctors to refill a previous prescription.

Overall, educating patients on the benefits of visiting an urgent care clinic for immediate or unknown concerns but visiting a specialist for chronic issues or known conditions is important. It will save you time and save them plenty of costs.

 

Finding the Right Partner

As urgent care centers continue to play an increasingly vital role in the world of healthcare, it becomes important to partner up with the right people to safely facilitate the transition into in-office dispensing. A dispensing solutions company can help you navigate your way towards fully implementing physician dispensing in your clinic and ensure that you’re providing the best possible service to your patients.

Through our easy-to-use web-based service and quality customer care, we at ProficientRx aim to help urgent care clinics, private practices, and healthcare professionals throughout the US better keep track of their in-house medication, manage and safely secure patient information, and make the most of their physician dispensing rights. Whether brand, generic, or OTC, we ensure our clients are stocked with the right tools to begin in-office dispensing.

ProficientRx helps physicians get started in direct dispensing by providing the means and the system with which to manage it all. We make point-of-care dispensing easy, and help you better provide urgent care to your patients, without worrying about stock and supply or poor data management.