While some accounts date back to the mid-1200s, physician dispensing as we know it now was introduced in the early 1980s. This is when the Federal Drug Administration began allowing repackaging of medications which lead the way for in-office drug dispensing
Because of the extremely strict regulations, the FDA approved the physician’s ability to prescribe, fill and profit from the distribution of pharmaceuticals in-office. There are many benefits found with in-office drug dispensing.
Patients Do Not Deal with Pharmacies
Patients can sometimes wait hours for their prescription to be filled by a pharmacy. With only a couple of pharmacists on staff, one of the numerous pharmacy technicians are providing service to your patient.
If your patient has a question about his or her prescription, they wait for the pharmacist, who is already bogged down, to speak with them. While pharmacists are excellent at what they do, they just don’t have the time needed to dedicate to each customer.
Some patients do not feel comfortable asking a pharmacist for help due to the line of people waiting behind them, because they must ask their questions publicly, or because they see their pharmacist as a stranger.
On top of that, pharmacists make more mistakes when filling prescriptions under stress and an overwhelming workload.
In-office drug dispensing may prevent errors such as these.
Safety for Patients Due to Physician Control
The World Health Organization defines good dispensing practices as the way you provide medicine to your patients. Using good practices, you give the right patient the correct medication. The medication is labeled correctly, with all accurate data, including clear instructions for the patient to follow.
From the time you write a prescription until the time the medicine is given to the patient; all the actions in between can determine if your practices are good or bad.
There are a few things you can do to ensure this entire process is consistently successful. You can regularly take part in safety checks with your staff. Provide training that keeps you and your staff updated on changes to laws and regulations.
Working with an in-office drug dispensing and repackaging company is the best way for you to ensure you are compliant and running your practice properly. They do most of the work, allowing you to focus on caring for your patients.
Quality Control of Medicines
In-Office drug dispensing uses repackaged medicines which are stored and packaged in a clean, safe environment. The rooms are temperature controlled and have added security to protect the medicines. Monitoring is controlled with the use of state of the art computerized technology.
Repackaging facilities are held to higher standards than pharmacies. How often do you see pharmacists cleaning their counter tops when filling prescriptions? Germs transferred from a pharmacist’s counter to a medicine can cause adverse reactions. Plus, it is just unhealthy.
There are specific standards a repackaging company must follow when it comes to preparing bottles, multi-unit or individual unit packages. The containers must be better than the original container from the manufacturer.
Repackaging of controlled substances makes them safer for you, the physician, and for the patient. Controlled substances, and all other repackaged medicines, are coded and labeled. Meaning, they are traceable all the way back to the manufacturer.
Patients Have Immediate Access with In-Office Drug dispensing
Equipment used in helping people recovery from injuries, whether at work, at home or elsewhere, is expected to grow at an enormous rate. According to Grand View Research, the global market for durable medical equipment is expected to reach 242 billion by the year 2024.
Durable medical equipment is sometimes confused with disposable medical supplies. While both are needed and used by the elderly, ill and disabled, they are different.
The main difference is that durable medical supplies are items that help a patient care for themselves but are disposed of once used.
Durable medical equipment is prescribed for long-term use to help those in recovery from an illness or injury. In the case of the elderly, the durable medical equipment may be prescribed for an infinite amount of time.
Patients Have Access to Additional Medical Staff
Nurse Practitioners can and are perfectly capable of providing a variety of services. When there is an emergency, they can provide acute care.
Many Nurse Practitioners choose to work in Primary or Specialty care practices, scheduling and seeing several patients every hour for both typical and atypical medical issues.
If you have a Nurses Practitioner on staff in your practice, you can double the number of patients you see. This means your patients do not have to wait for an opening on your schedule if they need to be seen in emergencies or for reasons that prevent them from waiting for care.
Controlled Substance Prescriptions Are Better Managed
Controlled substances are heavily regulated. Due to the widespread patient abuse of these drugs, physicians are hesitant to prescribe controlled substances, even to the patients who need them and can benefit from them.
With in-office drug dispensing, you can have complete control over how your patients use the controlled substances you prescribe. You can prescribe one dose a day, or enough for two weeks. It will be up to you to determine the best way for your patient to receive a controlled substance.
In-office drug dispensing makes these decisions easier. It also lets you check national databases, giving you information as to whether your patient has established negative patterns in trying to obtain controlled substances.
In the end, the greatest benefit of drug treatments at the point of care is that you will develop a loyal patient database. Taking charge of total patient care shows your patients you care enough about them to want to manage their overall health.
Too many times, patients are sent two, three and even four separate locations for treatment. They go to a pharmacy for a prescription, a laboratory for blood work, and an imaging office for diagnostics. Eliminating most of these special trips will help you maintain a following of those who want to help you and your practice succeed.