Direct medication dispensing is the result of having hundreds of patients. All those patients means you deal with hundreds of medical problems, and a few mental health problems as well. Some patients are consistent and for the last ten years have only needed an annual review so they can continue taking one or two medications.
Other patients may visit you every other month with news that their physical or mental health symptoms have changed once again. Oh, and they want a new medication to add to the nine they are already taking.
You have made strides in organizing your patients’ data. You have even implemented an in-office medication dispensing system that will greatly benefit your patients. But how do you decide which medications you need the most for inventory in a direct medication dispensing program?
You can’t keep all the medicines available on the market. You must choose a specified number. With thousands of options, narrowing down your list to meet the needs of your patients must be done with a great deal of consideration.
There are a few questions you can answer to help you narrow your list of medications you want to make available at the point of care.
Which Medicines are Common Among Your Patients?
Sure, you will be able to quickly recall the prescriptions you write the most. Maybe you are writing a lot of medicines to control blood pressure or diabetes. Maybe you are prescribing more medicines for anxiety or depression.
However, because your patients’ needs can change, so will the most common prescriptions you write. Without a good tracking program, it will be difficult to keep accurate records of the medicines you need to have on hand the most for your direct medication dispensing program.
Once you establish a tracking program, you will be able to easily determine the most common medicines prescribed for your patients. Then you will know how to prioritize your inventory. Meaning, you can order a larger number of the medicines that are used the most and a smaller number of the prescriptions you rarely use but would like to keep on hand for direct medication dispensing.
Which Medicines are Most Common in Society?
New medicines are frequently getting approved by the Federal Drug Administration. As soon as you become acquainted with one drug, a pharmaceutical representative is asking you to lunch to show you a new and improved version.
Also, your patient list is growing. This means you will be presented with new illnesses that require different medications.
Learn which medications are prescribed the most in society. This will give you a good list of drugs to have in-office, just in case you need them.
According to reports, the most prescribed drugs in 2016 included medicines for cholesterol, thyroid, high blood pressure, heartburn, Type 2 Diabetes and hydrocodone. It would be a good idea to consider these common options for direct medication dispensing in your office.
Opiates and Narcotics for Direct Medication Dispensing?
This may seem like an unusual suggestion. Most doctors shy away from keeping narcotics at the point of care with good reason – they fear the narcotics will welcome thieves. Another fear of having narcotics on site is that it may cause patients to become aggressive when asking for a prescription.
Having opiates and other addictive medicines readily available through your direct medication dispensing system is not all bad.
When you see a patient in severe pain, they don’t have to wait an additional hour or more at the pharmacy for relief. You will be able to start them with initial pain relief medicines at the point of care.
You may be thinking about those patients who are abusing their medications. With a direct medication dispensing system, you will be able to monitor their use, or abuse. You will be able to track their calls for refills, their excuses of why they ran out early or, if they are under-using their medications.
Which Life-Saving Medications Will Benefit My Patients?
Because prescription drugs are abused by many, overdose can be a threat. If you are prescribing opiates to someone who may be abusing the drug, it may also be beneficial to prescribe an opiate anti-dote such as Narcan.
You may also see patients with allergies. Some allergic reactions can be severe. If you are treating patients with life threatening allergies, being able to provide them with an epi-pen or anti-histamine at the point of care could make a difference in how they recover from an allergic episode.
Dispensing life-saving prescription drugs and equipment as part of your direct medication dispensing program may literally save the life of one of your patients.
Is There a Need for Durable Medical Equipment?
Accidents happen. Your patients seem to have their fair share of injuries related to accidents at home, work and even play.
If one of your patients visits you and has a severe sprain, it would be beneficial to them if you could give them crutches at the point of care, rather than having them visit a medical equipment store or hospital.
You will most likely be caring for patients who have been injured on the job. They have worker’s compensation that will cover any expenses needed for durable medical equipment. The faster you can get the equipment that will help them, the faster they can feel relief and focus on healing.
To decide which medical equipment to keep in stock at your practice, determine the most common injuries you treat. For the most common injuries your patients suffer, stock multiples of the equipment used to treat the injuries.
Stock only one or two of the less common injuries you treat.
This may mean you have ten sets of crutches and canes, and only 1 wheelchair. You may have 20 wound care kits but only 2 commodes.
You can use your inventory software program to help you replenish your stock when it gets low. You can also run reports that help you determine items you may not need at all.
The medications you determine necessary for your practice may differ completely from other physicians. If you are a cardiologist, the medicines you choose for direct medication dispensing will not likely be medicines a Psychiatrist might use.
Or, if you are a gynecologist, the medicines you prescribe will not be the same a Pediatrician will prescribe.
By implementing the right direct medication dispensing program, your questions regarding which type of medications to make accessible can be easily answered.