The Center for Disease Control reports some staggering statistics when it comes the patients and medications. For instance, 75 percent of patients last year received drug therapy or medication in office. In addition, 3.2 billion drugs were ordered and provided during these office visits.
The most common drugs prescribed by physicians last year included analgesics, antihyperlipidemic agents, and antidepressants.
The Mayo Clinic reports seven in ten people in the United States are on a prescription medication. More than half of those are on two or more medications.
If you are a physician, these statistics most likely mirror what is going on with your patient roster. You also know this means the same number of patients could benefit from getting this medication in office directly from you.
Your patients now leave your office with a prescription, travel to a pharmacy and wait in line to get a medication you could easily distribute to them. This is just one reason it is important for you to have common medication in office.
Opioid Analgesic Accountability
Let’s face it, there is an opioid analgesic crisis in America. Many patients abuse their opioid prescriptions. Some sell their prescriptions for money, some trade them for drugs, some just do not follow your instructions and take too many at once.
The need for controlled substances is increasing, not decreasing. Just because a few of your patients are abusing the drugs, doesn’t mean there aren’t patients who can benefit from them. There are patients who will use them as directed and their pain can be alleviated.
Having controlled medication in office can give you better control over how you prescribe them to your patients. Rather than giving them a prescription for a month supply, you can give them a week’s supply. This makes the patient more accountable to you, protecting you and the patient from negative outcomes.
Immediate Relief for Patients
Analgesics that are non-narcotic could have major importance in your practice. Minor pain relieving agents could even be administered by you or your staff right there in the office. Giving a patient an ibuprofen at the time of service could help the patient find faster relief from pain.
For a person with arthritis or migraines, being able to have immediate treatment will be greatly appreciated.
It is also a terrific way to provide a quick, harmless service while increasing service charges. Medication in office increases patient satisfaction and revenue for the practice.
Revenue Increase from Offering Medication In Office
Reports have stated that adding ancillary services such as in office dispensing are very affordable, some costing less than $10,000 to start. This is great since a physician can expect to make at least $40,000 extra income each year, depending on the amount of prescriptions written, just through providing common medication in office.
Reduces Costs for Patients
Providing point of care medications to patients can reduce costs. This can happen in a couple of ways. Because you are dealing directly with a supplier, you can get better costs more medications. And because you only need to prescribe the exact amount needed for patients, they are not required to pay for a whole batch when they may only need a few doses.
Pharmacies must mark up costs to cover their many pharmacy technicians and store staff. Your markup can be less than a pharmacy’s while still making you a profit. Patients will greatly appreciate this reduction in cost and the convenience of providing medication in office.
Can Lead to Additional Ancillary Services for Patients
The more services you provide to your patients, the more loyal they will be. In-office dispensing can be followed up with much needed in-office lab testing with things such as DNA kits. You could also add x-ray and diagnostic testing for your patients, or even diabetes education.
Some physicians even go further and add an urgent care clinic to their list of services. While this may seem like a huge undertaking, the others are much more doable with the cost of the equipment being the most expensive.
The more services you provide to your patients at the point of care, the better. You are showing you care about your patients by saving them time and closing the gap between the time you prescribe an order to the time they receive it by keeping medication in office.
These are a few reasons it is important for you to start prescribing medicines at the point of care. There are many more. Because patient care is what drives you, providing them with convenience and safety, consider the idea of dispensing medication in office for the best patient experience.
In a society where most patients feel rushed through the healthcare system, this is an opportunity for you to show them just how much you care.