Category Archives: Blog

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

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.