Healthcare providers such as urgent care centers, private practices and physicians can all benefit from using a medication dispensing system.
The impact of COVID-19 on the healthcare sector cannot be understated, particularly for the care of patients with chronic health issues, intractable pain, or terminal illnesses. Those affected by conditions that correlate with far greater risk of complication from COVID-19 (e.g. immunocompromised patients, patients with respiratory issues, and patients with diabetes and obesity) continue to seek ways to avoid contact with others, as per the sound advice of public health officials and international health organizations.
It’s in these times that services focusing on simplified access to critical care and medication are important, including telehealth consultations, e-prescriptions, and medication dispensing systems. However, it’s also clear that these systems will continue to play a role in the near- and long-term future, as patients are increasingly placing value on convenience and ease of care, and greater access to medicine through the Internet and popular healthcare providers such as urgent care clinics.
In office dispensing presents an important opportunity for healthcare providers to take greater charge for the care of their patients during and after this crisis, by streamlining access to medication while providing important information, minimizing the burden on the patient to go and receive or order medication from an overloaded pharmacy system, and reduce medication errors.
Providing Opportunities for Patient Education
Medication nonadherence presents a serious and continued issue in the healthcare industry, claiming an approximate 100,000 lives per year through preventable complications and illnesses, and disproportionately affecting those struggling with chronic health issues.
Rather than placing the burden on the patient, in office dispensing gives healthcare providers the opportunity to improve medication adherence through patient education, simplified and streamlined prescription refills, and much more.
Even though face-to-face care should be minimized due to the ongoing pandemic, particularly in cases where patients are struggling with conditions that increase their risk of complications, healthcare providers can leverage virtual tools and various effective delivery services to effectively communicate with patients, explain how their medication works and how it should be utilized, provide ample time and space for questions, and digitally schedule follow-up calls and reminders.
Reducing Medication Errors
It is the pharmacist’s role to reduce medication errors, but where it’s become normal to rely on the role of the pharmacy to dispense medication, taking on some of that responsibility can help reduce the burden on overloaded pharmacies while reducing the medication errors that occur due to prescription misinterpretation, communication problems, or incorrect labeling/packaging issues (similar labels/names, etc.).
A digital system that meticulously tracks and manages medication inventory during direct dispensing can also help healthcare professionals further reduce human errors while providing medication for their patients. Better and clearer labeling through on-site patient-specific label printing and repackaged medication can also help reduce errors, and help patients clearly understand how to use their medication, thereby increasing patient safety.
Providing Greater Convenience to Patients
Perhaps the greatest case to be made for a medication dispensing system is the improved patient convenience that they afford, and by extension, everything that follows:
- Better patient adherence
- Improved rapport between patient and healthcare provider
- Reduced risk of infection by minimizing the amount of individuals that are in contact with the patient’s medication, and more
The future of healthcare will increasingly lie in satisfying a patient’s needs, not just their healthcare needs, but their needs for swift and qualitative service. Patients are increasingly seeing themselves in the role of the customer and expect a level of convenience and service quality ingrained in other customer-facing industries.
Medication dispensing systems will likely play an important role in growing the relationship between a physician and their patient, helping them through a more convenient and direct access to the medication they need for their care, and simplifying healthcare by allowing a patient to go to one location and one professional for most of their medical needs.
Improving Patient Satisfaction
Given the way healthcare is structured today, practices, hospitals, and clinics are increasingly advised to pay attention to patient satisfaction metrics and ensure that they adequately meet the needs of their clientele.
Wait times, convenience, support staff, billing, and communication are some of the most important elements of patient satisfaction, and where most patients are satisfied with the quality of their care and their physician’s bedside manner, it is these other issues that concern them the most.
By providing swift care and simplifying the process of gaining access to important medication, healthcare providers can greatly impact patient satisfaction. In office dispensing eliminates wait times for medications that patients have come to expect at pharmacies to nothing, and turn the task of filling a prescription from an errand that could take several hours, into a simple transaction that takes less than a minute.
This also greatly boosts patient retention, helping you set your practice apart from the competition while simultaneously building a stronger patient-provider relationship.
Bringing More Revenue to Your Practice
The economic impact of COVID-19 is undeniable, and any practice that can bolster a clinic’s revenue while improving patient care is a critically valuable tool in times like these.
Hospitals, private practices, urgent care providers, and worker’s compensation clinics alike can benefit from the increased flexibility and convenience afforded by a well-integrated medication dispensing system. We at Proficient Rx work with our clients to help them integrate our turn-key web-based in office dispensing system at no overhead cost.
We provide a large inventory of FDA-approved repackaged generic and branded medications, and help our clients provide critical COVID-relevant services such as curbside pickup and HIPAA-compliant HD telehealth consultations, minimizing risk and maximizing convenience.