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Physician Medication for Patients - Proficient Rx

7 Benefits of Physician Medication Packaging

Physician medication packaging services buy medication in bulk from pharmaceutical companies, and then repackage it to accommodate individual practices, urgent care clinics, worker compensation clinics, and other healthcare providers. 

These repackaged medications cater to the per-patient needs of each respective healthcare provider by providing much greater safety, accuracy, drug efficacy, and trackability than standard packaging.

At Proficient Rx, we offer state-of-the-art packaging, labeling and  bottling capabilities, with custom-built production software for faster turnaround times on urgent offers, and a wide variety of packaging options, the latest in automated tablet-counting technology, and precision labeling.

 

Why Medication Repackaging is Becoming the Norm 

As healthcare costs rise and patients continue to demand better customer experiences from their healthcare providers, both cost efficiency and convenience are becoming top priorities for many practices – at no cost to quality. This is an incredibly tall order, and medication repackaging services play a central role in fulfilling it.

These services not only simplify the process of individualizing medication orders through fully-automated and semi-automated sorting and bottling, but through the production of convenience kits, through informative and individualized point-of-care label printing, inventory and patient management software, as well as repackaging practices designed to maximize the longevity and efficacy of medication to reduce the drug waste that occurs in bulk sale and storage.

On the patient level, individualized packaging helps greatly improve treatment adherence  and enable point-of-care dispensing (alongside better medication instructions), makes it easier to track individual kits and maintain a clear overview of drug inventory, and cuts out a lot of time spent prepping dosages and counting pills for kits.

 

Physician Medication Packaging Reduces Drug Waste 

Excessive drug waste is a serious problem. Unused medication can lose its efficacy and be disposed improperly by patients, opening the door to abuse, accidental poisonings, and a massive impact on the environment – and in turn, the ecology of our cities and regions.

Drugs commonly disposed through sewage or household waste can pose a threat because of common medication such as painkillers and antibiotics on plants and animals, and the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Another important step to reducing the impact of improper drug disposal is through drug take-back programs and physician-based drug collection kiosks.

Furthermore, drug waste presents a serious economic issue, as it often means pharmacies and physicians end up stocking more than they can sell, and taking steps to reduce drug waste by ensuring that physicians gain access to repackaged medication that properly reflects patient demand can help physicians greatly reduce the costs associated with unused medication, and proper medication disposal.

 

Medication Packaging Minimizes Prep Time

By referring to medication packaging services, physicians and practices can reduce the time usually needed to prepare patient doses, allowing practice staff to focus on better processing patients and further reducing wait times.

Being time efficient is a huge boon in the healthcare provider industry, as patients prefer shorter wait times and value healthcare providers that spend a greater amount of time on improving their customer service.

 

Medication Packaging Reduces Dispensing Errors

Medication packaging services utilize state-of-the-art semi-automated and fully automated processes to count and package medication, leaving no room for human error.

Dispensing errors are fortunately rare but can be devastating when they do occur. An automated system ensures that physicians can concentrate on providing the best care possible while leaving the system to package and provide the right medication in a sterile and safe environment and print the appropriate label in-office.

 

Physician Medication Packaging Helps Organize Inventories

By collaborating with a medication packaging service, physicians can better track their purchases and sales, keep an updated overview of their inventory, easily and automatically schedule restocking.

 

Medication Repackaging Makes It Easier to Track Controlled Substances

The safe disposal of controlled substances after expiration is crucial. Repackaged medication is carefully tracked and labeled with a corresponding code to verify a patient’s prescription and can be safely disposed of at the same place it’s repackaged.

 

Repackaged Medication Remains Viable, Sanitary, and Safe Longer

Prepackaged medication is prepared in a sterile environment in packaging specially sealed to maximize longevity and ensure that drugs remain viable for as long as possible, taking into account light exposure, moisture, vapors, and sealant compatibility.

Different drugs require different packaging to ensure viability, and Proficient Rx utilizes state-of-the-art technology to automate the repackaging process and eliminate the risk of contamination or spoilage. Repackaged medication is often better sealed and contained than the original packaging from the drug manufacturer. This further helps reduce drug waste by ensuring that individual packaged medications last longer.

 

Physician Medication Packaging Improves Patient Convenience 

Patient convenience is an important metric for a healthcare provider’s success. While a physician should never sacrifice quality of care, surveys show that most patients care more about convenience. Leveraging this by providing both better care and more convenience and put you at a great advantage vis-à-vis the competition.

Patient-specific physician medication packaging improves patient convenience by providing tailored prepackaged kits corresponding with a patient’s needs, through in-office dispensing – meaning patients get the medication they need without paying for pills they won’t use, and without the inconvenience of visiting a pharmacy for their medication instead.

Proficient Rx specializes in repackaging medication and providing direct dispensing solutions to urgent care practices, workers compensation clinics, and other healthcare providers.

Our in-office dispensing software is web-based, secure, and HIPAA-compliant, enabling physicians to expand their telehealth services and provide their patients with the benefits of point-of-care dispensing via in-office label printing, easy and intuitive drug inventory management, and medication tracking, all through a program that can be interfaced through any secure office computer without a lengthy installation process.

Our repackaging and labeling services are in strict compliance with FDA and cGMP regulations, and we are licensed to handle Schedule II-V controlled substances. We also help our clients manage, track, and dispose of controlled substances that have lost their efficacy safely, and provide a variety of prepackaged kits (including injection kits, DNA kits, and more).

Contact us today to find out how our medication packaging and dispensing services can help your practice improve patient convenience, while bolstering your revenue.

Contact Us Today for Physician Medication Packaging - ProficientRx

Medication Reconciliation - Proficient Rx

3 Examples of Medication Reconciliation Best Practices

Medication reconciliation is an important aspect of managing a medical facility. These 3 best practices can help improve efficiency of your office.

Every doctor’s office, hospital and medical facility knows, or should know, the importance of medication reconciliation in preventing adverse drug events. There is a lot that has been said and that continues to be said about the issue, but a lot of it lacks actionable advice. To that end, here are three best practices that could benefit your office.

1. Doctor and Patient Medication Reviews

Medication reviews should be a must once a year, especially with older patients, but does not happen in many places. Office managers or lead doctors should figure out ways to establish reviews that work best with their office/system. For example, is there already an official patient safety program in place that could incorporate medication reviews? What percentage of patients is tech savvy and uses email?

A mailing (or email) can go to patients’ homes with paperwork on medication for patients to bring to the next visit. It would basically comprise a list of medications, including vitamins and supplements, dosages, and so on. This approach bestows the gift of time so that patients (and/or their caregivers) are able to think and make adjustments for a few days rather than answer unexpected questions during a doctor’s appointment. It is a gift of time for busy doctors as well.

Another factor to consider is when to do the reviews. If they are at least once a year, should the general office practice be to do them every five patient visits? After every hospitalization? Should the office encourage annual physicals that include medication reviews?

Information to discuss during the reviews (and on pre-meeting mailings) needs to include:

  • A list and review of everything, with vitamins and supplements included
  • Frequency of each dosage
  • Methods of taking the medications (orally, etc.)
  • The dosage amounts
  • A discussion and printout of potential side effects and behavioral changes

Accuracy matters a lot in the answers, which is why all correspondence and discussion should explain the rationale behind the review. Statements such as, “Honesty is important here. If you haven’t been taking your medication as often as you should, or you’ve been taking it too often, please let me know. You would be far from alone, and I just want to make sure we are on the same page. No judgments.”

Offices should also have a system to track how their efforts are going. For instance, if the first-year goal is to have 35 percent of patients undergo review meetings, how many did occur? What was the patient feedback on these? Are there particular doctors who tend to skip the meetings, and what can be done to address that?

2. Medication Tracking Systems

When patients get hospitalized, are prescribed new medications and released, their primary care physicians may not always know. Likewise, upon hospitalization, a patient may not be able to immediately (or at all) supply a list of medications, method of administration, dosages and so on.

One solution to medication reconciliation is a proactive medication tracking system. Doctors’ offices can make them standard, for example, by giving patients a basic form to keep in their medical records and that they take to all appointments, meetings, hospitalizations and so on. For younger patients, an app may be easier—or even a simple email file (or file on the cloud) that lets patients make and track changes right from their smartphones. Depending on the level of tech, it is also possible for the system to sync with the doctor’s office. The tracking system should have space for a patient to note how he or she felt after a dosage change or medication change.

3. In-Office Medication System

Many medication errors—and medication reconciliation errors—occur because too many people get involved in a case. An in-office medication dispensing system enables you to dispense medication inside your office so patients don’t have to head to the pharmacy. Proficient RX offers an in-office dispensing service for a wide spectrum of medications, including antihistamines, NSAIDs, antibiotics, injectables, anti-anxiety, and muscle relaxants.

Your office gets another point of contact with the patient to increase convenience and reduce errors. Nothing gets lost in translation from the doctor to the pharmacist, and it is even possible that many of your patients would be getting all of their medications from you. All of the information would be on file.

With people living longer and babies surviving (and thriving) like they never could before, medication upon medication is a fact of life for many Americans. Medication reconciliation is even more important, and every doctor’s office should have a process for it.

Learn More about our in office dispensing services or contact us today to determine how we can best meet your needs!

Contact Us Today for In-Office Dispensing - Proficient Rx

 

Physician Dispensing Company - Proficient Rx

What to Look for In A Physician Dispensing Company

There are many benefits to partnering with a physician dispensing company, but what should you look for in these companies? How do you know which company is right for you?

Physician dispensing or in-office dispensing can be a boon to patient satisfaction and a clinic’s growth and revenue, representing both a useful marketing tool for capturing the interest of patients who would rather avoid making additional trips to the pharmacy, and a way to improve patient-physician relationships and greatly impact the concerning issue of medication adherence.

Figuring out what your practice might need to get started as soon as possible can be a complicated process all on its own. Then there’s the trouble of sourcing and regularly stocking medication, printing labels, tracking patient prescriptions and follow-up information, and doing it all in a way that’s both safe and compliant with state and federal law.

This is where physician dispensing companies become an invaluable resource for any healthcare provider considering direct dispensing. A reputable and experienced medication dispensing company will work you through the steps locally required to begin dispensing at the point-of-care, help you determine what medication to stock, and often outfit your practice with a software solution for tracking inventory, sales, and more.

 

Why Bother with Physician Dispensing? 

Doctor dispensing is a particularly valuable service during a pandemic, as it helps healthcare providers minimize patient risk by helping them source their medication in the same spot where they receive their care, and by providing an alternative to the pharmacy for refilling prescriptions.

Even outside of the context of an ongoing public health crisis, doctor dispensing has a marked effect on both patient adherence and patient satisfaction, two metrics that can greatly improve a practice’s reputation and save patient lives.

While regularly stocking and managing an inventory of medications might seem like a substantial drain on practice time and resources, it doesn’t have to be with the right partner. Through repackaged medication and smart pricing, most practices can make a humble profit while offering a service that is both a benefit to the practice and its patients, and it’s neither costly nor time-consuming to implement.

 

Finding the Right Physician Dispensing Company to Partner With

When setting up in-office dispensing, you will want the following qualities in any potential partner:

 

1. Responsive, User-Friendly, and Intuitive Software

When working with a physician dispensing company, it’s important that you have a reliable, intuitive, and automated way to order, manage, track, and dispense your inventory.

Good dispensing software will automate as much of the process as possible, minimizing human errors by:

    • Ensuring that every prescription is tracked and accounted for
    • Organizing and keeping records automatically
    • Making it easier for physicians to go over their patient information and schedule follow-ups with patients to improve medication adherence and provide another opportunity for patient education
    • Quickly retrieve summaries of their patients’ respective prescription and medication histories

 

2. Web-Based and Secure Service

Your doctor dispensing company should be utilizing web-based systems. Web-based dispensing systems don’t require tedious installation, are easily scalable across platforms and devices, and are much easier to integrate with other systems. These systems remove a lot of maintenance headaches and completely eliminate the need to regularly download and install updates or patches (as these are rolled out automatically). Because of this, they take a lot of the hassle out of utilizing a software service by simplifying the implementation process as much as possible.

Security is also important, especially when handling sensitive information like medical data. Web-based systems will store information online, keeping it safe and encrypted while letting healthcare providers easily manage, order, and track medication in just a few clicks, without ever having to download anything.

 

3. Swift and Effective Live Customer Support

With critical services like medication dispensing and HIPAA-compliant high-quality telehealth, having access to reliable customer support is essential. You want a partner with a reputation for helping clients sort issues out before they evolve into greater problems, and help with every important step towards full implementation; from employee training to basic troubleshooting.

Furthermore, each state’s Board of Pharmacy may have different regulations and requirements surrounding direct dispensing, and these may change. Keeping up to date on changes and new requirements important.

 

4. A Stellar Reputation

Reputation is important when picking a physician dispensing company to partner with. Dispensing prepackaged medication can be a great ancillary revenue stream for any private practice, but you want a partner with a stellar reputation and a history of providing top-quality services to healthcare providers.

Currently, only a fraction of healthcare providers and practices are leveraging these services to their benefit. Picking up on the trend early can help you distinguish yourself from other healthcare providers and grow your patient base.

At Proficient Rx, our top priorities are patient convenience and affordability while ensuring full compliance. We find that helping our clients cater to these points not only provides a substantial boost in satisfaction and reputation, but allows for a steady stream of additional revenue, and positively impacts patient-physician relationships.

Our simple in-office dispensing software is web-based and intuitive, allowing healthcare providers to immediately take advantage of the benefits of point-of-care dispensing without a lengthy course or installation process.

We also offer extensive and live support to address any questions as fast as possible, and help you keep your inventory stocked. Through our FDA– and DEA-approved repackaged brand and generic medication, we aim to serve the needs of nearly any healthcare provider, especially urgent care clinics, worker’s comp clinics, private practices, and on-site employee health services. Contact us to learn more about how your clinic could leverage physician dispensing to improve patient satisfaction.

 

Contact Us Today for Direct Dispensing and Telehealth Services - Proficient Rx

Explaining Medication Side Effects - Proficient Rx

Advising Patients About Medication Side Effects

If you don’t tell your patients about potential medication side effects, it is likely they won’t learn about them at all. Unless you are dispensing medication directly to them, it is highly unlikely they will learn anything about their medicine from the pharmacist.

When patients pick up their medicine at the pharmacy, they are asked if they have any questions. Unfortunately, your patients do not know what questions to ask. They do know to ask if there are side effects.

Even those who do know to ask about medication side effects refuse to do so because they often feel guilty about holding up the line behind them. They know how it feels to wait and wait to get their medicine, so they claim to understand their prescription.

In addition, they can see the pharmacist working diligently behind the counter, trying to keep up with orders. They don’t want to distract the pharmacist from his or her duties.

It is this type of situation that causes uneducated patients to suffer side effects and not know how to respond. Too many times, those suffering with side effects will simply quit taking their medications, causing their health to decline.

It is up to you to advise your patients about the side effects of their medications. Doing so can provide many benefits, as listed below.

 

Prevents Liability Lawsuits

When a patient develops a new symptom after starting a drug, it is usually the drug’s fault. However, patients will blame you.

Medical malpractice lawsuits happen every day, even when the physician has a great reputation. There are eager people who want to file negligence claims against physicians, even when the doctor has done everything right.

To avoid any liability such as this, make sure you cover all your bases. This means educating patients on all the potential dangers of the prescription they are taking. Teach them how to avoid negative interactions.

Make them aware of normal side effects and side effects that need to be addressed by emergency personnel. For example, some side effects include mild headaches that subside once the patient’s body has adapted to the medication.

Other medication side effects, such as heart palpitations or passing out need to be addressed immediately, by emergency personnel, to avoid any potential fatalities.

Because most patients are prescribed multiple medications, you can educate them on potential interactions. Not all the medications they take will be prescribed by you. But it is just as important for you to be aware of all their medications and how they work, or don’t work, with one another.

What happens to your patients after following your treatment orders, will reflect on you. Educating them on side effects can prevent many negative reactions for them, and potential lawsuits for you.

 

Helps Patients Feel in Control

Patients often feel out of control of their physical and mental illnesses. They feel no matter what they try, their symptoms do not get better. This can be due to them experiencing side effects of their medicine.

They follow your orders, they do everything you tell them to do, yet they begin having new symptoms that are unpleasant. Unless you educate them, patients will feel like they are failing at improving their situation.

You can help them feel more confident in their own care, helping them take ownership and giving them hope.

 

Helps Patients Remain Compliant

When a patient begins taking a drug, and suddenly develops new negative symptoms, they are not likely to remain compliant.

Common side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, headaches, blurred vision, dry mouth and even pain.

If a patient starts feeling worse after taking a medication, even if these symptoms will be temporary, they will do what it takes to feel better. That may mean they quit taking the much-needed medication you prescribed.

This can be dangerous for patients because they are no longer receiving the help they need to improve their health.

However, if they are educated and aware of possible side effects associated with their medication, they are likely to continue their medication. They are not surprised by new symptoms. They remain compliant and over time, side effects subside, and their health outcomes improve.

 

Helps Patients Avoid Withdrawal Symptoms

Patients stop taking their medication for many reasons, one of them being the side effects associated with the medicine. Patients are not aware that by stopping medication abruptly can create negative withdrawal symptoms.

Some of the best medications in the world, ones that save lives daily, can have negative withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can range from mild stomach cramps to nausea and vomiting. Other withdrawal symptoms can include:

    • Anxiety
    • Panic
    • Blood pressure changes
    • Even nerve problems

Withdrawal symptoms can be frightening for patients. To avoid this problem, educate patients on potential medication side effects. When they know what to expect on the front end, they will be less likely to just stop taking medication prescribed. Therefore, they will avoid negative withdrawal symptoms.

 

The Best Way to Advise Patients About Side Effects

The single most effective process of advising patients about the side effects of their medication is when you provide point of care dispensing. This is because you are the one handing them their medication.

With this personal in-office exchange, you have the perfect opportunity to explain the side effects of that medicine, on the spot. Your patients will no longer have to hope the pharmacist will explain it to them. They will no longer be expected to read the brochures provided by the pharmacy, most of which are written in medical terminology hard to understand.

Prepackaged medicines used in point of care dispensing provide easy to read instructions, side effects, and interactions. They help you take control of the prescription care of your patients. They give you the opportunity to document all the education you have provided to your patients, providing evidence that you have done your part in teaching about side effects.

Taking the time to advise patients on side effects provides you protection and peace of mind, knowing you have given the best patient care.

Medication Dispensing System - Proficient Rx

5 Reasons a Medication Dispensing System Is a Must for Your Practice

Healthcare providers such as urgent care centers, private practices and physicians can all benefit from using a medication dispensing system.

The impact of COVID-19 on the healthcare sector cannot be understated, particularly for the care of patients with chronic health issues, intractable pain, or terminal illnesses.  Those affected by conditions that correlate with far greater risk of complication from COVID-19 (e.g. immunocompromised patients, patients with respiratory issues, and patients with diabetes and obesity) continue to seek ways to avoid contact with others, as per the sound advice of public health officials and international health organizations.

It’s in these times that services focusing on simplified access to critical care and medication are important, including telehealth consultations, e-prescriptions, and medication dispensing systems.  However, it’s also clear that these systems will continue to play a role in the near- and long-term future, as patients are increasingly placing value on convenience and ease of care, and greater access to medicine through the Internet and popular healthcare providers such as urgent care clinics.

In office dispensing presents an important opportunity for healthcare providers to take greater charge for the care of their patients during and after this crisis, by streamlining access to medication while providing important information, minimizing the burden on the patient to go and receive or order medication from an overloaded pharmacy system, and reduce medication errors.

Providing Opportunities for Patient Education

Medication nonadherence presents a serious and continued issue in the healthcare industry, claiming an approximate 100,000 lives per year through preventable complications and illnesses, and disproportionately affecting those struggling with chronic health issues.

Rather than placing the burden on the patient, in office dispensing gives healthcare providers the opportunity to improve medication adherence through patient education, simplified and streamlined prescription refills, and much more.

Even though face-to-face care should be minimized due to the ongoing pandemic, particularly in cases where patients are struggling with conditions that increase their risk of complications, healthcare providers can leverage virtual tools and various effective delivery services to effectively communicate with patients, explain how their medication works and how it should be utilized, provide ample time and space for questions, and digitally schedule follow-up calls and reminders.

Reducing Medication Errors

It is the pharmacist’s role to reduce medication errors, but where it’s become normal to rely on the role of the pharmacy to dispense medication, taking on some of that responsibility can help reduce the burden on overloaded pharmacies while reducing the medication errors that occur due to prescription misinterpretation, communication problems, or incorrect labeling/packaging issues (similar labels/names, etc.).

A digital system that meticulously tracks and manages medication inventory during direct dispensing can also help healthcare professionals further reduce human errors while providing medication for their patients. Better and clearer labeling through on-site patient-specific label printing and repackaged medication can also help reduce errors, and help patients clearly understand how to use their medication, thereby increasing patient safety.

Providing Greater Convenience to Patients

Perhaps the greatest case to be made for a medication dispensing system is the improved patient convenience that they afford, and by extension, everything that follows:

  • Better patient adherence
  • Improved rapport between patient and healthcare provider
  • Reduced risk of infection by minimizing the amount of individuals that are in contact with the patient’s medication, and more

The future of healthcare will increasingly lie in satisfying a patient’s needs, not just their healthcare needs, but their needs for swift and qualitative service. Patients are increasingly seeing themselves in the role of the customer and expect a level of convenience and service quality ingrained in other customer-facing industries.

Medication dispensing systems will likely play an important role in growing the relationship between a physician and their patient, helping them through a more convenient and direct access to the medication they need for their care, and simplifying healthcare by allowing a patient to go to one location and one professional for most of their medical needs.

Improving Patient Satisfaction 

Given the way healthcare is structured today, practices, hospitals, and clinics are increasingly advised to pay attention to patient satisfaction metrics and ensure that they adequately meet the needs of their clientele.

Wait times, convenience, support staff, billing, and communication are some of the most important elements of patient satisfaction, and where most patients are satisfied with the quality of their care and their physician’s bedside manner, it is these other issues that concern them the most.

By providing swift care and simplifying the process of gaining access to important medication, healthcare providers can greatly impact patient satisfaction. In office dispensing eliminates wait times for medications that patients have come to expect at pharmacies to nothing, and turn the task of filling a prescription from an errand that could take several hours, into a simple transaction that takes less than a minute.

This also greatly boosts patient retention, helping you set your practice apart from the competition while simultaneously building a stronger patient-provider relationship.

Bringing More Revenue to Your Practice

The economic impact of COVID-19 is undeniable, and any practice that can bolster a clinic’s revenue while improving patient care is a critically valuable tool in times like these.

Hospitals, private practices, urgent care providers, and worker’s compensation clinics alike can benefit from the increased flexibility and convenience afforded by a well-integrated medication dispensing system. We at Proficient Rx work with our clients to help them integrate our turn-key web-based in office dispensing system at no overhead cost.

We provide a large inventory of FDA-approved repackaged generic and branded medications, and help our clients provide critical COVID-relevant services such as curbside pickup and HIPAA-compliant HD telehealth consultations, minimizing risk and maximizing convenience.

Contact us for more information. 

 

Repackaging Medication - Proficient Rx

What Is Repackaging Medication?

When you first hear the word “repackaged” you may think it means reusing medications. This is not the case at all. In fact, repackaging medication is one of the safest ways to provide patients with the safest prescription.

Repackaged medication simply means a medication is taken from its original packaging and placed into a smaller, safer and simpler type of packaging. Repackaging medication often separates it into individual doses, making it easy for the patient to keep on track with their medication schedule.

The simple description of the process of repackaging medication includes receiving, specifications, client approval, production, quality control, shipping, and delivery. Sounds simple, right? Not hardly.

In fact, there are more detailed steps within these steps taken at each stage of the repackaging medication process to make sure the patient receives the highest quality product.

Additional steps include environmental testing, labeling, securing controlled substances, and keeping good records throughout the process.

These are discussed in more detail below.

Environmental Testing

Repackaged medicines are stored and packaged in a clean, safe environment. The rooms must be temperature controlled and have added security to protect the medicines. Monitoring is controlled with the use of state of the art computerized technology.

Medicines must be tested at this point to ensure they are of the same quality as they were when created at the manufacturing facility.

Repackaging medication facilities are held to higher standards than pharmacies. How often do you see pharmacists cleaning their counter tops when filling prescriptions? Germs transferred from a pharmacist’s counter to a medicine can cause adverse reactions.

Labeling and Documentation

The new container must contain specific labeling information. The label must state accurate drug names, dosage, instructions, and who to contact in case of emergency. The manufacturer information should also be included.

The physician will place additional information to include your practice contact information, date of dispensing and any other warnings for the client.

Keeping good records is required. Repackaging medication companies must keep quality records for at least one year after the date of being repackaged.

Records must include the date of repackaging medication, prescription name, physician who will be dispensing the medicine, and drug name. The strength of the drug must be listed, as well as the quantity.  These steps must be verified and signed by an authority figure in the repackaging company.

Extra Security Steps for Controlled Substances

Repackaging of controlled substances makes them safer for you, the physician, and for the patient. Controlled substances, and all other repackaged medicines, are coded and labeled. Meaning, they are traceable all the way back to the manufacturer.

This provides all people involved with a security that if a medication is stolen or misused, it can be tracked to verify where the medicine originated and for whom or what it was intended.

Passes Regulatory FDA Inspections

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) evaluates everything from the closure system of repackaging medication to all areas of the facility in which repackaging takes place.

It is the job of the FDA to make sure the medicine being repackaged maintains its effectiveness and sterility after placed in the new package. They make sure the expiration date is correct and that the medicines will not be exposed to unstable lighting and temperatures. Repackaging companies will also need to pass evaluations by the Good Manufacturing Practices and state laws.

Additional Repackaging Processes Upon Request

Physicians who dispense medication can request additional information on the drugs being repackaged. Information on recalls and reports showing exactly how sterile the machines and facility are when in production.

Repackaging companies should also be able to provide custom batching services, custom software to help physicians process and order more efficiently, and custom bar coding or serialization.

Who Can Benefit from Repackaging Medication

Both you and your patients are the major benefactors of repackaged medications. For you, a repackaging medication company can supply you with exact doses in a timely manner and within a lower budget. Good repackaging companies can easily adapt to making changes or fixing errors.

You and your patients can also receive the benefits of lower costs. Because you are dealing directly with the repackager, and because you only need to purchase an exact amount of medications, you can save money.

Repackagers provide consistent service, around the clock. They are accessible to answer questions you may have. They can help you manage inventory and rush orders when needed. Furthermore, because safety is improved, lawsuits to your practice could be reduced. With such streamlined processes, you will find it easy to manage your inventory and process refills. And since you can order a smaller number at a time, the number of wasted medicines is reduced.

Patients will show improved health outcomes due to improved compliance. Patients will be more satisfied due to the cost and time you are saving them. This will make them loyal to you and your practice.

Conclusion

The repackaging process involves many steps, all of which are important to the process.  Some steps may seem greater than others, but they are equally vital. If one step is skipped or missed, it can affect the entire process.

Picking the right repackaging medication company is the step you can take to make sure your patients receive the safest, most effective product. To choose the best, make sure they meet your budget, your timelines, and your quality. Make sure they accessible and available to you when you need them. Don’t go with the lowest costing facility. This may mean they are not financially sound.

You want a repackaging medication company that does not have money problems and more likely to take short cuts to save costs.

Check references of the company and read their reviews. A good company will eagerly provide you with contact information for references. Make the calls. Receiving feedback from other customers is one of the best tactics to help you make a final decision. After making these efforts, you will find the right company for you and your patients.

Learn More about our repackaged medication services or contact us today to determine how we can best meet your needs!

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Durable Medical Equipment - Proficient Rx

What is Durable Medical Equipment?

Durable medical equipment (DME)  includes items that are used during treatment and recovery of an injury, illness or due to age related problems.

They are typically non-disposable. They are often used both at home and at any location outside of the medical facility.

Equipment can be used by caregivers, family members or the patient themselves.

What Is DME?

The equipment must be reusable and mostly for use in the home of the patient, or a long-term recovery unit of a medical institution. With in-home care services on the rise, so are the use of medical equipment needs within the home.

The durable medical equipment industry reached close to 42 billion dollars just last year, with numbers increasing. However, equipment is not the same as supplies.

 

Durable Medical Equipment vs. Supplies

Durable medical equipment is sometimes confused with disposable medical supplies. While both are needed and used by the elderly, ill and disabled, they are different.

The main difference is that medical supplies are items that help a patient care for themselves, but are disposed of once used. Examples of supplies include blood sugar testing strips for diabetics. Durable medical supplies can also include disposable gloves that a patient or caregiver may wear during a daily treatment.

Supplies can also include bandages, catheter equipment, needles for injection kits and diapers. If it is used once and then thrown away, it is considered a durable medical supply.

Durable medical equipment is prescribed for long-term use to help those in recovery from an illness or injury. In the case of the elderly, the durable medical equipment may be prescribed for an infinite amount of time.

 

Categories of DME

There are many categories of durable medical equipment: mobility aids, personal care aids, prosthesis, orthotics and oxygen equipment.

Mobility Aids are prescribed to patients who have a challenging time walking or who can’t get around well on their own. They are used to assist the patient in getting around physically.

Personal Care Aids can include items that assist a disabled, ill or elderly patient complete their daily hygiene routines. Personal care aids can help a person get in and out of a bath or shower, use the toilet and for added security from falling. They can even include products made to help patients dress themselves.

Prosthetic Limbs enable patients to perform duties that require the limb the patient lost.

Orthotics include footwear to correct a problem or to assist a patient in walking and receiving foot therapy at the same time.

Oxygen Equipment can aid patients who struggle with respiratory problems. Example diagnoses include COPD and asthma.

 

Specific Examples of Durable Medical Equipment

Hospital beds are a very common piece of durable medical equipment. They can be ordered on a temporary or long-term basis, depending on the needs of your patient. Hospital beds are prescribed for patients who need to remain in a certain position that normal beds do now allow.

Hospital beds also allow attachments needed for patient health or recovery that cannot be attached to normal beds.

To help patients move around, a doctor can prescribe specific mobility devices such as wheelchairs, walkers, scooters and canes.

Specific personal care aids include rods to help patients pull up their own pants and socks. They can also include raised toilet seats for patients who have trouble bending. Bath and shower aids can include handles and shower stools. All personal care aids enable the patient to remain independent.

Artificial limbs are serving over two million Americans today.

Orthotic equipment is often prescribed by doctors for foot therapy and pain relief. Common orthotics include shoe inserts, possibly to help with arch support. Others include heat moldable orthotics, and shoe insoles. If not treated properly, orthotic ailments can lead to hip and back problems down the road.

 

Who Orders DME?

There are times when a patient will give themselves a diagnosis. Maybe they fell and are struggling to walk without pain, so they may buy themselves a cane. Or, they are afraid of slipping in the shower, so they buy themselves a shower chair.

Many patients purchase durable medical equipment for themselves rather than getting a physician’s prescription. These are the patients who do not mind paying the full cost of the equipment.

Those who do not want to pay, or cannot pay, for equipment will need a physician’s prescription so insurance will cover the costs.

A face to face encounter with a patient is required in order for you to prescribe durable medical equipment. Once you determine your patient needs the device, you put in an order. Most doctors file claims for the patients whose insurance requires it. Durable medical equipment is paid by an insurance company most of the time.

 

Who Pays for DME?

There are times when insurance companies require the patient to pay for the equipment up front and be reimbursed for all the costs, or partial costs.

Some insurance companies require an adjuster to determine whether medical equipment is necessary. A good example is with Transcutaneous Electronic Nerve Stimulators (TENS). Some adjusters will attend actual patient visits and view x-rays before deciding as to whether the equipment is beneficial to the patient. Once an adjuster agrees it is needed, the insurance company will likely pay the full amount.

Some patients prefer to purchase durable medical equipment out of pocket. They can even purchase over-the-counter durable medical equipment from your office or at the local drug store. Items include:

    • Knee braces
    • Padded seats
    • Blood pressure monitors
    • Hot and cold packs
    • Canes and many more

The durable medical equipment industry is accelerating each year because people are choosing to be cared for in their homes.  If they do not have to stay in a hospital, they don’t. Another reason for DME use increasing is because the geriatric population is increasing.

People are living longer, but this may because they have the help of durable medical equipment and supplies, and better healthcare by physicians such as you.

Providing durable medical equipment to your patients is one way you can improve your services, make patient’s lives easier, and show patients their health is a top priority.

Contact Us Today for DME

 

Medication Dispensing Systems - Proficient Rx

Why Medication Dispensing Systems Are More Important Than Ever in This Time of Uncertainty

Medication dispensing systems are proving to be an exceptionally critical tool for healthcare workers during these times of uncertainty. 

Medication dispensing, which describes the practice of physicians and other healthcare providers dispensing medication to a patient in-office rather than through a pharmacy, may help address critical concerns in light of the ongoing pandemic. As the coronavirus continues to have a significant impact on our lives, the need for adaptability becomes ever more apparent.

It is clear that COVID-19 presents multiple challenges to patients struggling with ongoing illnesses. For one, the strain that the coronavirus has had on healthcare providers everywhere is affecting millions of Americans who rely on these services daily.  These patients are at a greater risk of infection because they risk exposing themselves whenever they go out to seek medication and medical care. Some opt to either avoid refilling their prescription if their pharmacies cannot support more contactless deliveries or are forced to conserve medication and negatively affect their treatment due to ongoing constraints imposed by the virus.

By using medication dispensing systems, treatment providers help take some strain off local pharmacies while providing a convenient service to patients that helps improve adherence and reduces errors.

 

Medication Dispensing Systems Address Treatment Adherence Issues

The greatest benefit of direct dispensing is the fact that patients do not have to go to the pharmacy. Reduced pharmacy visits in the age of COVID-19 can mean reduced infections, especially when a visit to the urgent care clinic or doctor’s office is supplemented with contactless dispensing (via curbside pickup). This can help improve adherence in patients who do not want to risk leaving their cars to get their medication.

However, it is important to note direct dispensing has proven effective to improve medication adherence long before COVID-19. A substantial percentage of prescriptions are never filled – which means these patients never pick up the medication they are supposed to take at a pharmacy. By offering direct medication dispensing, physicians can ensure that their patients get the medication they need.

Furthermore, direct medication dispensing systems can help physicians better track when patients receive their medication – and thereby schedule accurate follow-up calls to help guide them through any questions, as well as get updates on their condition and treatment adherence.

 

No Crowds Outside and Inside the Pharmacy

It’s clear that the coronavirus travels more quickly in large crowds. Healthcare providers can help thin out the crowd and ensure that their patients receive their medication without having to come into contact with other humans with virtual visits (via effective and HIPAA-compliant telehealth services), and curbside pickup.

Despite stringent rules, regulations, and PPE, healthcare workers remain at risk for infection due to their close proximity with COVID-19 patients on a regular basis. Providing direct dispensing services keeps patients safe, as well as healthcare providers.

 

Curbside Pickup Enables Greater Safety and Convenience

Curbside pickup remains an important part of implementing direct medication dispensing systems during the ongoing crisis. By enabling patients to get their medication into their vehicles without the chance of human-to-human contact, physicians and healthcare providers can ensure the safety of their coworkers and their patients alike.

Furthermore, curbside pickup allows for far greater convenience for patients, which remains at a premium in today’s healthcare climate. Patients are looking for services that allow for more affordable and more expedient healthcare, without compromising quality of care or their patient-doctor relationship.

 

Direct Medication Dispensing Helps Physicians Ensure Patients Receive Necessary Care 

We live in uncertain times, and we do not know when that might change. As we adapt and improvise to face a developing situation, services like direct medication dispensing systems will prove critical to improving outcomes, and thereby saving lives.

At Proficient Rx, we work with physicians, clinics and other healthcare providers to smoothen your transition towards direct dispensing using our proprietary web-based medication dispensing systems and platform. We provide our partners with DEA- and FDA-approved prepackaged generic and branded OTC and prescription medication, while our easy-to-use program enables seamless inventory management and label printing. 

To help healthcare providers continue to treat patients and minimize risk while improving convenience during these trying times, our dispensing software offers a Virtual Office Visit program, so patients can take full advantage of HIPAA-compliant HD video and audio while seeking telehealth services from their local urgent care clinic. 

We also encourage healthcare providers to serve patients via contactless curbside pickup, so the most vulnerable among us can remain safe while seeking critical care.

Contact Us Today for Medication Dispensing Systems - Proficient Rx

Improving Senior Medication Compliance - Proficient Rx

Increasing Medication Compliance in the Elderly

Medication compliance is important for every patient, but it becomes even more important for elderly patients; here’s why.

Elderly patients often have several medications to keep up with and take. Unfortunately, this patient group is well-known for often not taking their prescriptions for a variety of reasons. Doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and others similarly employed in the healthcare industry should take steps to do their part to make sure their elderly patients take their medications and continue to do so until the end of their treatment period.

Reasons for Noncompliance

There are, in fact, several factors that play a part in an elderly patient not taking her or his medication as directed. The individual might not understand the instructions, might not be able to afford the prescription, might not be able to tolerate the medication’s side effects or the patient might not have received the proper education on the medication. There’s also the fact that the patient might have several other prescriptions to take and could forget to take one or more.

It’s also not unheard of for there to be language barriers between patient and doctor, which can lead to the patient not knowing the right way to take a medication, if she or he takes it at all. Physicians also have to make sure they properly encourage their patients to take their prescriptions, and in-office dispensing can most certainly help with that.

The Consequences

When a patient doesn’t take a prescription, he or she runs the risk of being admitted to the hospital, which results in unnecessary medical costs. There are also cases of a patient needing to be admitted to a nursing home due to failure to take medication. Diseases and medical conditions can worsen if an elderly patient doesn’t follow medication compliance, and his or her current treatment might not be as effective.

For senior citizens who work, medical noncompliance can result in a slump in overall productivity. No matter the consequence, it’s clear that there’s a lot at stake when it comes to elderly patients not taking their prescriptions.

Preventing Noncompliance

It can sometimes be difficult to tell when an elderly patient runs a high risk of being medication noncompliant, which is why it’s so essential that doctors, nurses and pharmacists remain diligent about doing everything they can to encourage patients to fill and take their prescriptions. One way to do this is to schedule follow-up appointments to see how patients are doing. Those who are admitted to the hospital should be properly discharged and have a solid discharge plan. Healthcare professionals should also be sure their elderly patients understand their illness or condition so that they comprehend how the medication will help treat their condition or illness.

Before ending an appointment, it’s a good idea to ask patients if they will have or think they might have problems getting or taking their medication. Some might not have a way to get to the pharmacist or not have the money or insurance to pay for a prescription. Even if a patient is able to fill a prescription, he or she might not be able to make out the directions due to being hard of hearing or having poor eyesight, which is something else nurses and doctors should be sure to address.

Medication Compliance Tools

Besides the methods mentioned above, there are additional steps healthcare professionals can take to better ensure elderly patients follow medication compliance. For instance, counting the number of pills left in a prescription and comparing it to the patient’s dosage determines whether the patient has been taking the medication. Doctors and nurses can also simply ask patients if they’ve been taking their medication and ascertaining why not if the individual hasn’t. Dispensing medications in-office is an alternative way to track if patients are taking their medications correctly, as they can keep a better eye on prescription refill dates.

The Importance of Trust

For all the tools and methods used to address medication compliance, none of them are as effective as healthcare providers making sure they form a strong degree of trust with their patients. It’s this trust that not only increases the chances of the patient taking his or her medication, but being content with the treatment results.

By spending more time with patients and knocking down any barriers that might be in their way, it’s entirely possible to improve medication compliance. The smallest of efforts can save time, money and lives.

 

Contact us today to learn how direct dispensing can help improve medication compliance for all patients.

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