Creating an efficient dispensing practice is key to success in the healthcare industry. Here’s how to set up successful direct dispensing.
Onsite or point-of-care medication dispensing, also known as physician dispensing, is a service that practices, clinics, and hospital departments can leverage to provide prescriptions, prescription medication, and prescription refills within the comfort and safety of a physician’s office.
At its simplest, it allows patients to skip the trip to the pharmacy and get their medication at the doctor’s office.
On a more in-depth level, it allows physicians to leverage modern medical tools to minimize patient risk and medication errors, boost revenue, improve patient care quality and patient satisfaction, keep patients adhering to their medication protocols.
Implementing a medication dispensing service in your practice requires the right partner. You need to source your medication, manage, and keep meticulous track of inventory and patient data, implement proper security for both medication and patient info, and print your labels, to mention a few prerequisites. Then there’s the staff training involved, the ordering and billing technology, ePrescription writing, and more.
Setting up an efficient dispensing practice takes a bit of prep work – but it can save your practice multiple hours of work a week, while drastically increasing your value proposition, capacity for care, and reputation within the community.
Medication Dispensing and Digitalization
The most important element to an efficient direct dispensing practice is that it takes full advantage of digital solutions, minimizing time loss, leveraging multiple automated systems to issue prescription refills, and assist physicians and assistant staff alike in providing optimal care.
- Automated drug tracing
- Inventory management, and medication acquisition
- Automated label printing
- Better operational efficiency through digital assistance
- And more
Scheduling Follow Ups
One of the primary benefits of a direct dispensing practice is the ability to provide medication at the point of care, which serves to improve treatment adherence and patient satisfaction.
But most practices can take it a step further by scheduling follow-up notifications and patient communication to ensure that patients are reminded to refill their prescription and adhere to their treatment.
Drug pricing is another factor driving medication nonadherence for a lot of patients. Automated follow ups and scheduled appointments help provide patients with the opportunity to discuss their financial worries and look for alternatives with their doctor’s help.
Curbside Pickup and Delivery Options
In times of COVID, point-of-care dispensing and curbside pickup at the doctor’s office provided yet another way for patients with auto-immune conditions and other significant health risks to avoid making a trip to the pharmacy to refill their prescription and continue to seek care during the pandemic.
Patients with an interest in minimizing exposure during outbreaks or being efficient with their time will appreciate minimal/no contact pickup options, both now and in years to come.
Training Your Staff
Practice staff can assist patients in answering questions about drug and treatment costs, side effects, insurance coverage, self-administration, self-injection, and can oversee prescription refills and in-office adjustments to dosage or medication alongside a physician.
The time spent helping patients on an individual level is earned back in the time saved from no longer making multiple calls to coordinate with pharmacy staff.
What is the Point of a Dispensing Practice?
A direct dispensing practice at the point of care provides a critical community service to patients with long-term chronic health issues who avoid getting the care they need because they would have to go out of their way for a refill or prescription.
Cutting out the trip to the pharmacy helps some patients reduce their risk for medication nonadherence, which is much higher for older patients and patients with chronic or progressive health conditions in particular – those who ostensibly rely the most on consistent care.
Furthermore, direct dispensing can increase a practice’s value proposition and reputation within the community while providing a valuable additional source of revenue.
Of course, efficiency is key. When implemented correctly, direct dispensing can be a massive boon to a practice and its community. Here are some important elements for an efficient direct dispensing system.
Better Patient Care, Greater Patient Satisfaction
In-person point-of-care dispensing helps provide patients with a greater wealth of information during medication dispensing, from self-administration instructions to side-effect information, and much more. Doctors can help answer patient questions and facilitate a much more in-depth discussion about the specific medication being offered or dispensed, from pricing and coverage questions to alternatives and cost concerns.
This level of individualized care – from diagnosis down to treatment application and medication dispensing – can strengthen and deepen the critical patient-doctor relationship, and help improve a practice’s reputation and value within the community.
Improving Medication Adherence
Medication nonadherence is responsible for an estimated 125,000 preventable deaths per year, and an estimated $100 billion annual impact on the healthcare industry. Factors that heavily impact medication adherence center around:
- Patient-related barriers (cultural issues, denial, lack of motivation, impairment)
- Treatment-related barriers (drug cost, treatment complexity, inconvenience, time)
- Other barriers (poor doctor-patient relationship).
Dispensing at the point of care can help drastically alleviate both treatment-related barriers and some patient-related barriers by providing alternatives regarding cost, saving patients time, providing greater patient convenience, and reducing both the relative complexity of the treatment and fear of side effects associated with the treatment through discussion and education.
Creating a New Source of Revenue
The benefit of an additional revenue source cannot be understated for healthcare practices struggling to stay afloat in an increasingly centralized and commercialized healthcare industry.
More and more professionals are flocking towards hospitals and abandoning the idea of starting their own private practices as costs increase. Being able to prescribe and dispense medicine at the point of care can be an incredible boon for any practice.
Our online web-based direct dispensing platform makes integrating direct dispensing into your practice easier than ever. We provide a turnkey solution with a dedicated client support network, to answer any questions during and after the installation process.
Not only do we help provide label printing and inventory management solutions, but we also provide both branded and generic over the counter and prescription medication, as well as various injection kits and other medical products. We work with our clients to figure out the necessary steps to implement direct dispensing within their practice and provide them with the digital and logistical framework needed to begin dispensing medicine at the point-of-care right away.