There are quite a few dispensing requirements you need to meet before dispensing medicine at your point of care. All these requirements are worth the effort, which is minimal in most cases.
Below are the dispensing requirements you should focus on when setting up your practice as an in-office dispensary.
Pharmacy Board Application and Approval
Pharmacy board regulations will vary from state to state. However, they each have similar processes. Many times, physicians are held to less requirements than pharmacists are when it comes to setting up a point of care delivery system.
Registering with your pharmacy board will require you show evidence of your license and any examinations necessary to practice medicine in your state.
Register with Board every year to avoid any lapses with your credentials.
Dispensing Requirements at the State Level
Applications for physicians to dispense medications at point of care will vary by state. However, each application will ask related questions about your qualifications and intentions.
You will be asked to identify the specific medications you plan to dispense. You will also be asked basic questions about where and how the medications will be dispensed.
More specific questions may focus on whether the patient has access to a pharmacy or if it is difficult for them to obtain medications. The more conveniences you can provide for your patient, the more likely your application will be received.
Common regulations among States include the following:
- State issued controlled substance dispensing license is required for those of you who wish to dispense Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) scheduled drugs.
- Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant credentials updated and legal if you plan to allow them to dispense medications.
- Your State issued dispensing license, if required, which it is in many States.
In addition to meeting these dispensing requirements, many States require you meet the Pharmacy Board regulations also.
Controlled Substances Requirements
The Drug Enforcement Administration makes it clear that when you dispense a narcotic of any kind, it must be for a legitimate medical reason. You must make sure it meets all the regulations showing it is valid. In addition, you must verify all information on the drug to make sure it corresponds with the patient.
This means you must verify the patients name, dosage, drug being prescribed, strength and quantity before you give it to your patient as part of their dispensing requirements.
Every few years you must register with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to dispense controlled substances.
Current State License and DEA Number
Your DEA number allows you to write prescriptions that are considered controlled substances by the government. Controlled substances are ranked and put into five categories. A DEA number allows your prescriptions to be tracked and reported in case of negligent practices.
If you do not already have a DEA number, you can simply apply online using form 224. This is the application for controlled substances registration. You cannot dispense controlled substances without this approval.
You will be expected to give personal information as well as background history. If you do not supply this information, you will not be allowed to register.
Your DEA number does not allow you to dispense medications that treat narcotics addictions. That is a totally separate application and registration process with different dispensing requirements.
Ability to Help Workman’s Compensation Patients Easily
Once you determine your workman’s compensation needs, whether medicine or equipment, you file claims for the patients whose insurance requires it.
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.
You can acquire the assistance of specialists who provide the equipment for you. They can also assist with the claims and offer many benefits that ease your workload. These companies are like those who specialize in medication dispensing.
Instead of dispensing medications, however, they are dispensing durable medical equipment.
Good Software Program
In-office dispensing software can prevent errors with medicine.
But before you commit to any system software program, check references. Get feedback from other users of the software program. You want honest feedback, not just reviews that are positive.
The key is that you are told about possible glitches before you purchase. This shows honesty from the software company. It can also show you a willingness on their part to fix all problems that arise.
If your computer program is crashing every time you try to prescribe and fill a medicine, you will get frustrated. And so will your staff and patients. Finding a software program that is reliable is one of the most important tasks.
In times where software crashes are unavoidable, you need technical support. The company you choose should provide support to you at free or low-cost services. The tech support staff should also be readily accessible to you during the time of the crisis.
Most quality software companies have around the clock services. You do not have the time to work with the software, your patients need you more. Finding a software program that comes with expert support is necessary for your practice.
Be the Good Doctor
The World Health Organization defines good dispensing practices as the way you provide medicine to your patients. Using good practices, you give the right patient the correct medication. The medication is labeled correctly, with all accurate data, including clear instructions for the patient to follow.
From the time you write a prescription until the time the medicine is given to the patient; all the actions in between can determine if your practices are good or bad.
There are a few things you can do to ensure this entire process is consistently successful. You can regularly take part in safety checks with your staff. Provide training that keeps you and your staff updated on changes to laws, regulations, and dispensing requirements.
Working with an in-office dispensing company is the best way for you to ensure you are compliant and running your practice properly. They do most of the work, allowing you to focus on caring for your patients.