In-house dispensing refers to the sale and distribution of certain drugs in the office of a registered and certified dispensing doctor, also known as in-office dispensing, point-of-care dispensing, or physician dispensing. In-house dispensing exists as an alternative to typical pharmacy dispensing and allows patients to, for example, receive the medication that has been prescribed to them in the very same doctor’s visit without scheduling an additional appointment or making an extra trip to the nearest pharmacist.
In-house dispensing has its own pros and cons and has heavily grown in recent years. Most states contain some provision for physician dispensing, allowing practicing physicians to register as dispensing physicians with certain state-specific requirements and restrictions (including registration fees and, in some cases, distribution restrictions or stock limitations). In-house dispensing is ideal for primary care medicine, where offering a comprehensive level of care to as many general patients as possible is paramount.
A Primer on Primary Care
A primary care physician takes on the role of a traditional house doctor, family doctor, or general practitioner in Commonwealth countries. Primary care is perhaps the broadest field of medicine, as it represents the initial visit to the doctor’s office in all but the most severe of cases. Primary care is needed in every instance between going off to the pharmacy for ibuprofen and calling 911 for a traumatic injury. Primary care physicians are trained to:
- Screen for diseases and specific symptoms.
- Diagnose and offer treatment for a vast array of illnesses.
- Provide in-depth patient education on the topics of medication use and application, family history, risk, vaccines, and more.
- Offer vaccination counsel.
- Coordinate your care with other professionals.
- Advise you on injury care and post-injury treatment, from a strict drug regimen to how often you should ice your ankle.
- Refer you to specialists for radiology, oncology, cardiology, and much more.
In addition to performing the above-mentioned tasks, primary care doctors are the first and often the only interface a patient will have with the medical system for the majority of ailments and complaints. They need impeccable bedside manners, a good relationship with each of their patients, and a strong level of trust with their patients – trust that allows them to help patients identify and treat concerns before they turn into problems, and problems before they turn into tragedies.
As an additional service, in-house dispensing is a perfect fit for primary care physicians, giving them an additional function to fulfill as a patient’s first choice in healthcare, while enabling even greater patient education and, crucially, better medication adherence among patients.
Why Offer In-House Dispensing?
Physician dispensing has three major benefits for patients that speak to its continued use despite the abundance of pharmacies:
- It improves patient convenience.
- It bolsters the patient-physician relationship.
- It helps address medication non-adherence.
Patient convenience is more important than most physicians might realize. Patient surveys show that improvements in convenience are rated higher than improvements in care – while many primary care physicians have done the utmost to improve their healthcare offerings, patients want ways in which to simplify their relationship with healthcare without paying more.
Offering in-house dispensing can help improve the patient-physician relationship, which is an important marker for the quality of a patient’s care and their outcomes. Last but not least, in-house dispensing can help primary care physicians address the important topic of medication non-adherence. Medication non-adherence and its impact on healthcare are devastating.
An estimated 100,000 preventable deaths are due to medication non-adherence, and it is estimated that up to half of American patients do not properly adhere to a physician’s orders when it comes to how and when they should take their medication. Some of the challenges surrounding medication non-adherence can be resolved through a better patient-physician relationship, better drug prices, and the introduction of another distribution choice in the form of in-house dispensing.
Putting Patients First
Primary care practices that put their patients first will not only see a boost in reputation but may further improve their patient’s outcomes by offering greater choice in healthcare. However, the true challenges of in-house dispensing begin in the implementation process. Physicians must register with their state Board of Pharmacy and prepare their practice for implementing in-house dispensing.
In-House Dispensing for Primary Care Medicine
One of the greatest benefits of in-house dispensing is that it’s easier to implement than ever before. Modern in-house dispensing partners utilize the latest in technology to offer cross-platform cloud-based online portals for the management of inventories, orders of new medication, and much more. Getting started is easy as filling out an application, and going through a verification process to set up your account.
To that end, we at Proficient Rx can get you started. Our turnkey web-based solution offers doctors the absolute simplest way of implementing in-house dispensing, with zero installation costs or complicated hardware. Our cloud-based solutions can be accessed from any terminal in the office via secure and personalized login credentials, hosting all the information you need to:
- Manage and update your inventory;
- Print prescription labels;
- Follow up on patient prescriptions;
- Schedule appointments;
- Order new repackaged medications;
- Remain HIPAA-compliant.
You need not worry about supply chain details, either – we keep meticulous track of every order and offer both soft and hard copies of the records of each and every shipment, so you can rest assured that you have all the necessary details on hand from the day your medication was manufactured.
All our medications are sourced wholesale from dozens of first-party manufacturers and repackaged exclusively in our state-of-the-art repackaging facility, which ensures that every drug retains as much of its maximum efficacy as possible. We stock generic and branded over-the-counter and prescription medication, from pills to injections, topicals, liquids, and more.
No contracts, no minimum buys, and no obligations. Do you want to start implementing in-house dispensing in your primary care facility? You’ve come to the right place. Let’s get started today.