Pharmacies are not bad. They are not evil, and this is not an attempt to downgrade pharmacies. This is an attempt to separate the facts and state the facts on how in-office dispensing has more benefits than going to the pharmacy.
Prescribing and filling prescriptions at the point of care is becoming more popular among physicians. Many physicians implement in-office dispensing into their practice simply for the extra income it provides. Many find there is very little work required, but the increase in revenue is significant.
After a while, physicians begin to realize in-office dispensing has added value, other than the extra income. Most of these benefit your patients and your staff, something you may not have even expected in the beginning.
These added benefits, such as saving time, improved patient health outcomes and educating the patient are a few of the rewards offered through in-office dispensing.
Below is a list of five additional reasons in-office dispensing is a better choice than going to a pharmacy for both patients and staff.
Pharmacies Are in the Retail Business
Going to a pharmacy these days is more like going to a retail store. Pharmacies quickly learned to capitalize on the massive waiting periods for patients. They implement marketing techniques to manipulate patients into buying products they do not need while waiting on the medicine they do need.
Over the last decade, pharmacies have moved from simply prescribing medications to selling groceries, beauty and health products, school and office supplies and even pet supplies.
Patients, unless they have remarkable insurance plans, are already spending a lot of money on their prescriptions. Spending even more on impulse buys at the pharmacy can hurt their financial status.
Even the mom and pop pharmacies are growing from medicines being their primary source of income to relying on selling convenience products to patients.
With direct dispensing, you can save your patients money and time by providing them with their medication at the point of care, and without all the temptations of buying extra products. Plus, the lack of a wait time means they do not have time to shop around anyway.
Pharmacists do not have to ensure patients are compliant with their medicines. While it would be nice, and ethical, they are not required to do so. They are not even required to report their suspicions or concerns to you when they feel a patient may be abusing their medicine.
Pharmacists do not automatically check to see if a patient is refilling their medicine on time. They are not aware of when patients have stopped taking their medications altogether unless they are prompted to look up their information in the database.
With hundreds of patients being served each day, it is unlikely they take the time to measure compliance, even if it is important to them.
Lower Medication Errors With In Office Dispensing
Pharmacy errors are increasing each year. Medication errors can include the following: giving the patient the wrong medication; giving the patient someone else’s medication; pharmacist authorizing the wrong dose on the medication; pharmacist or pharmacy technician contaminating the medication.
These errors happen, and they happen on a regular basis across the country.
The use of pharmaceutical technicians is also a concern. They are not trained as well to spot errors, prevent cross-contamination and keep up with the enormous demands of busy pharmacies today.
Convenient for Patient and Your Staff
The conveniences you are providing for clients by dispensing in-office helps you retain patients in your practice. It also encourages current patients to recruit new patients for you, saving you a lot of money in marketing. There is no better advertising than to have happy patients share how much you care about them.
One of the conveniences in-office dispensing provides to your patients is time. Waiting in long lines at the pharmacy is dreaded by your patients because while they are waiting, they are thinking about the many other tasks they could be completing.
Another convenience is that your patients can have access to help sooner. Meaning, they can start healing several hours earlier than if they had to go to the pharmacy.
In-office dispensing saves patients’ money because you do not have to mark up your costs as much as a pharmacy with a large staff must do.
Your staff also feel the benefits of in-office dispensing. They no longer must communicate via fax and email with the pharmacy. They are provided with a simple computer software program that basically does all the work for them.
With just a few clicks, prescriptions are entered, labels printed, labels adhered, and the patient is headed home to recover. This takes ten minutes or less, saving staff and patients hours of time.
Dispensing medications in-office helps your relationship with patients. It means you can speak directly with your patients without the noise and interruptions from everyone else in the area. This means your patients can ask questions without the fear of others hearing them.
Confidentiality is a big deal to patients. If they feel their confidentiality could be or has been violated, they will be hurt and angry.
Patients do not want to ask personal questions in front of a line of people like they must do at a pharmacy. There are no confidential areas at pharmacies that provide the secrecy patients are seeking.
Even those who do choose to speak with a pharmacist are forced to whisper, and then made to feel rushed so the pharmacist can return to filling more prescriptions.
In your office, you can offer patients security the pharmacy cannot. Patients are expected to trust their doctor and their pharmacist. Providing confidential services is one of the best ways to make sure this happens.
In your office, you can meet with them privately to discuss their prescription, educate them on their illness and the medication you are prescribing, and improving the chances that they will follow through with treatment.
Your number of successful outcomes will increase. And for you, this means you have reached