You became a physician for many reasons. But one at the top of your list is to help patients. Help can mean many things. Most often in the medical field, helping a patient means healing them from an ailment. Or if you cannot heal them, you provide treatments to ease their symptoms.
What you may not know is that you can also help patients by dispensing medication directly to them at the point of care.
Below are some of the ways in-office dispensing can help patients.
Saves You and Your Patient Time
Saving your patients time is a convenience they will greatly appreciate. Many take personal time from work to see you. Others must schedule rides because they are unable to drive themselves.
The last thing they want to have to add to their schedules is an unexpected trip to the pharmacy.
Even if the pharmacy is located right down the street from your office, it still takes time. Most of the major pharmacies take an hour to fill a prescription. Dispensing directly allows your patients to have access to their medication in less time and with less hassle, allowing you to better help patients coming through your door.
An in-office dispensary is not only convenient, it can help patients follow-through with taking the medicines you deem necessary.
You and your staff can also save time for yourselves by dispensing directly. You no longer need to communicate back and forth with the pharmacy. No more faxing prescriptions, refills or corrections.
Your nurses no longer spend time answering voice mail requests for prescriptions, then submitting the order to a pharmacist. Instead, the software system can automatically track refill information for patients.
You Can Track Patient Medication Use
You don’t typically know if your patients are following through with their medications once they leave your office. You are not certain whether they even pick up their prescription at the pharmacy. By dispensing medication directly, you can better monitor your patients medication use.
With your monitoring, patient treatment goals and outcomes will improve, and you will have concrete data as evidence, allowing you to better help patients.
One of the easiest ways you can track whether your patients are taking medications as prescribed is how often, or if at all, they request refills. By dispensing refills at the point of care, you can gain insight that will help you in working with patients.
The software that comes with a medication dispensing system can help you track patient results, allowing you to quickly print reports based on the data you need to set treatment goals.
Builds Trust That Encourages Follow Through
Patients come to you for solutions. However, not all patients immediately trust your advice. They want to get to know you better before truly investing in your treatments. Dispensing medication directly can help you build this trust.
In-office you can teach them exactly how to administer their medication. You can educate them on the benefits of taking their medication. You can teach them the benefits of the medication and discuss in detail potential side effects.
Your patients want to learn from someone they trust. The more time you can spend with them, the more they will trust you. Dispensing directly gives you that extra time.
When you patient receives their medicine at the point of care, they are more likely to feel obligated to fill it and take it as prescribed.
You can monitor their intake and measure their outcomes. Because the patient knows you will be able to see their chart to determine if they are taking their medicine, they are more likely to follow their schedule. They want to please you by taking their medications.
Pharmacists don’t usually know when a patient with a new prescription has failed to get it filled. They are too busy dealing with the patients who are waiting for their prescription. If your patient leaves your office with a prescription and decides they don’t want to go to the pharmacy, you and the pharmacist are not privy to this information.
With direct dispensing, your patients will leave your office with their medicine, not a prescription. They have no excuses for avoiding taking their medicine. They have no excuses as to why they couldn’t make it to the pharmacy.
Help Patients by Reducing Medication Errors
By filling prescriptions within your office, you help patients because they can worry less about pharmacist errors and more about getting well.
Because some medicines are similar in shape, color and size, pharmacists confuse one drug for the other.
Not only is dispensing the wrong drug a problem but dispensing the wrong dosage of the right medicine.Pharmacists make mistakes when it comes to delivering the wrong dose of medication to patients.
If a pharmacist dispenses a dose that is too low, a person may not benefit from any of the effects of the medicine. If the effects of the medicine are to keep blood from clotting or decrease blood pressure, there could be serious negative consequences if their dose is too low.
You can also feel confident that the medications you are dispensing must pass strict inspections. Both manufacturers and packagers take extra steps to maintain this quality with each drug, making consistency a reality within a drug class.
They do this by using quality control processes.
Quality control involves all the actions a company takes to make sure medicines are pure, safe and compliant with all laws and regulations.
Keep Patient Information Private
In addition, customers do not like providing personal information unless it is in a confidential setting. Standing in line at the pharmacy is not confidential.
Sometimes, pharmacists are simply negligent in providing counseling. In-office dispensing provides patients with a chance to discuss their prescriptions with the physician in a private setting. Because the physician is only dispensing to their patients, a much lighter case load than a pharmacist, fewer errors will occur.
Using in-office dispensing software programs and prepackaged medication provides an extra layer of safety and is easy for the physician and qualified staff to quickly deliver the prescription to the patient.
Ultimately, there would be no practice without patients. Providing the best care possible is how you can retain loyal patients and attract new ones. You can do this with doctor dispensing practices that allow you to follow your patient’s health from start to finish.