Dispensing directly means you prescribe and fill medication at the point of care. This ancillary service is being utilized by physicians because it offers many benefits to both the practice and the patient.
One of the main benefits for you is the increase in revenue. The set-up fees are small, and the program can be installed in less than a week. Many doctors report the small amount of money invested is recouped in a month or two.
This means the increase in revenue annually is substantial. Other benefits are discussed below.
Helps You Analyze Essential Data
Direct dispensing programs create reports based on your needs. Anything you want to analyze can be done with both patient and medication information. You can analyze health outcomes, payments, refill amounts, and national drug code numbers.
You will have access to real-time safety messages concerning medications. You can track controlled substances. You can run reports to analyze quantities and supplies in your current storage.
Access to Software Technicians
If at anytime you or your staff has a question regarding direct dispensing, there is a technician waiting to help you.
You have around the clock access to a person who will talk to you and work with you to resolve any issues.
It should be noted, however, that there are few issues with the technology. The program is so simple that most staff members can be trained in just a few hours.
In-office dispensing programs can help you screen for drugs that look and sound alike. This prevents you from giving the patient the wrong medicine.
The software program will also check proper dosing requirements, including quantity.
There have been several reports showing the extensiveness of medication errors on the part of the pharmacy and the patient. These are errors that can easily be avoided.
Direct dispensing programs work to support your safety protocols. They can prevent errors such as cross-contamination because they use prepackaged medication. This can also help patients avoid missing doses or taking too many doses.
Furthermore, errors such as medication storage and waste can be prevented.
Reduces Work Loads for Staff
In-office dispensing of prepackaged medications makes it easy to streamline communication with insurance companies. The software technology that accompanies prepackaged medication is set up to include direct contact with the claims departments of all insurance companies.
There are no more copying insurance cards and faxing to insurance companies. All information is entered into the computer data bank. With a simple click of a button, your office billing staff can send claims directly to the claims department.
Furthermore, payments can be made from the insurance company directly to your account. This means you no longer must wait on checks in the mail. You can receive direct payments in a timely manner.
Direct dispensing software alerts staff to any refills that need to be renewed. Notifications will automatically be sent to your office staff via the computer system.
This system is also in place for renewing medicines you keep in stock. The software will notify you when your supply of prepackaged medications is running low. It can also send a re-order request to the dispensing company.
Direct dispensing medications can be streamlined for quick delivery because there is no compounding, mixing, or sorting that needs to be completed.
You and your staff simply enter the prescription information into the computer. Next you print the label, retrieve the prepackaged medicine from the locked cabinet, adhere the label and deliver package to your patient.
Because so much time is saved through the direct dispensing process, your staff can focus on more important things.
Improves Patient Outcomes
When you know your patients are in compliant, or non-compliant, with their treatments, you can measure their outcomes to see if they have improved over time or if their health has gotten worse.
This gives you solid evidence to show your patients that the treatments you have prescribed do work. It gives you credibility and your patients will trust your diagnoses even more.
It can also give you evidence to include in future treatment plans that show patients the positives of sticking to their plan, and the negatives of not following your plan.
Eliminates the Pharmacy
Anytime a patient can avoid going to the pharmacy is a benefit. Most patients wait hours for their prescription to be filled. In this waiting period, patients may be suffering. They may also be waiting with other sick people, putting them at risk for acquiring new viruses or bacteria.
Pharmacies are established to sell you products based on impulses. While you wait, you can shop to avoid boredom. From the “as seen on TV” products to books, makeup and groceries, the pharmacy is likely to gain even more money from your patient.
These impulse buys by the patient can be harmful to those with small budgets. And yes, it is the patient’s responsibility to control those impulses. However, pharmacies capitalize on the fact that most patients will justify the need for certain products.
Better Patient Education
Probably the most important thing is providing patients with the right amount of information regarding their own health.
Your patients rarely receive quality education from a pharmacist.
With doctor dispensing, patients can receive demonstrations and assistance in learning how to use medications.
Pharmacists rarely dedicate time to patient education. This is not the service your patients want. Instead, they want to be given their prescription medication and be educated about their medicine in a private environment. They want to ask questions and gather information in a confidential space.
Doctor dispensing allows the patient to feel comfortable in a secured private environment when asking the staff and the doctor for important feedback on their medications.
In conclusion, the benefits of direct dispensing far outweigh any disadvantages. As a physician, you want to provide the quickest, safest and most reliable services to your patients. Direct dispensing is the best way to reach this goal. And in the process, you are securing loyal patients, keeping your practice successful.