Medication dispensing is a great solution to help you improve your practice and patients overall satisfaction and well-being. Here are 7 tips to set up an efficient process for dispensing medication.
Direct dispensing gives healthcare providers the opportunity to greatly increase their value proposition while offering a critical service to countless patients looking for an alternative to traditional dispensing services due to time constraints, inconvenience, crowded pharmacies, or other barriers to medication. These barriers do not only add to a patient’s potential frustration but can and do actively defer patients from seeking the care they need, contributing to the nationwide problem of medication non-adherence.
By leveraging existing systems to help provide a direct dispensing service, your clinic or practice can further differentiate itself from the competition while providing an important option to patients in need of a better alternative, or simply reduce the barriers to effective care, fight back against non-adherence, and save lives.
However, efficiency and implementation matter. Where direct dispensing can be a great service to improve your reputation and value to the community, it needs to be efficient in doing so. Inefficiency and lack of planning will decrease patient satisfaction, potentially lead to dangerous medication errors, and draw the ire of strict state regulators.
Setting Up an Efficient Process for Dispensing Medication: An Overview
Medication needs to be stored, inventory needs to be managed and kept track of, and patient information needs to be carefully protected and referred to when dispensing medication and scheduling follow-ups. The medication itself must be carefully sourced, labelled, and dispensed accordingly.
Patients need to be informed about how and when to use their medication and warned of any dangers or contraindications relevant to them.
Due to different local regulations and logistic considerations, as well as financial constraints, practices need to be careful with what medications they stock, and how much.
There are other simpler considerations as well, such as maintaining a rigorously clean working space, keeping medications apart, always keeping cooled medications within the right temperature conditions, cleaning up spills and messes immediately, avoiding any sort of contaminants in the medication storage area, and stock rotation.
Let’s go over a few simple tips to ensure that your direct dispensing system is safe, convenient, and contributes heavily to the value of your practice.
1. Keep the Dispensing Environment in Mind
There are a few things to consider when it comes to safely dispensing medication. These include how the medication is stored and accessed, patient privacy, and personnel safety. One of the benefits of leveraging physician dispensing for your practice is the ability to provide patients with an in-depth primer on their medication and care within a comfortable and private environment, away from the typical open counters of big box retailers and smaller pharmacies.
2. Pick a Qualified Dispensing Professional
Physicians can prescribe and dispense medication. It’s important to train your personnel to carefully read and verify a prescription and avoid medication errors.
3. Acquire Proper Labeling and Pill Counters
Repackaged medication, a computer with an internet connection, and a printer for labels are just some of the capabilities a well-prepared direct dispensing service needs to function safely and smoothly. Automated label printing reduces medication errors and helps patients keep track of their medication and remind themselves on when and how to use it.
4. Provide Better Medication Counseling
One of the most important benefits to direct dispensing is the ability to provide medication-specific information at the point-of-care alongside the medication, and help ensure that a patient understands when, how, and why they should use their medication, as well as provide the chance to answer all questions and ensure that there are no unforeseen or unmentioned contraindications.
5. Prioritize Confidentiality and Privacy
Patients might feel less inclined to share their medical history and important information when given less time and less privacy, such as at a pharmacy counter. By providing in-office dispensing services, physicians and other healthcare professionals can assure their patients that they can safely share whatever they need to in order to receive the best care possible.
6. Leverage Computerized Dispensing Systems
Automated and computerized dispensing systems drastically cut down on errors by automatically keeping track of orders and inventory, printing accurate labels, and saving time.
7. Periodically Review and Update Dispensing Standards
Advances in software and hardware mean better and smarter ways to advise patients, count and procure prepackaged medication, and dispense safely. Work with a partner who places a premium on keeping up to date on changes in the digitization of healthcare, and how they might improve your practice.
How to Begin Direct Dispensing as a Healthcare Provider
Physician dispensing begins with the right partner. There are a lot of logistics involved in efficiently distributing medication at the point-of-care, and the most important logistical point is figuring out where to best source your medication.
A direct dispensing partner can help you implement a dispensing system into your practice and provide you with the medications you will most likely need to stock, based on your patients and medical specialization.
Start with Proficient Rx
Proficient Rx works with healthcare providers to guide them through the process of implementing medication dispensing at the point-of-care through a large selection of FDA- and DEA-approved repackaged branded and generic medication, processed at our own state-of-the-art facilities.
Through our stable, secure, and easy-to-use web-based dispensing platform, we help clinics keep track of inventory, enable in-office label printing, and help personnel manage and restock necessary medications.
We also help healthcare providers implement contactless medication delivery through curbside pickup, ensuring the safety and satisfaction of patients, and promote telehealth solutions for doctors to continue to advise their patients and provide important medication info personally via video call.
Direct physician dispensing is not available in some states and is generally regulated by a state’s Board of Pharmacy.
Proficient Rx works with clinics all over the country, providing live customer support to licensed healthcare providers of all types looking to implement physician dispensing services into their business, and walking them through the steps necessary to safely obtain and distribute medication from the point-of-care.