As more and more people are obtaining insurance coverage, your patient case load is rising. It is all you can do to see your patients, document notes and ensure your office is operating effectively. Because you do not want to turn patients away, you make changes to meet the demands of your community. Nurse practitioner drug dispensing is one of those quality of life changes to help operation run more smoothly, both for you, and your patients.
The decision to add a nurse practitioner to your practice is very wise. Nurse practitioners can help you by taking on a full case load. This allows your practice to bring in additional income while also providing patients with more available times to be seen for their medical needs.
Nurse practitioners can help you in more ways than just seeing patients. In fact, they can begin nurse practitioner drug dispensing for patients at the point of care. Thus, providing convenience to both you and your patients.
Why Nurse Practitioner Drug Dispensing?
Nurse practitioners have advanced education in the medical field. They are registered nurses with a great deal more expertise. They also have the licenses and certifications that prove they are advanced in their area.
According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, there are over 230,000 nurse practitioners in America. Over half of those have hospital privileges and nearly all of them prescribe medicines to patients on a regular basis.
If a nurse practitioner is compliant with all state laws, they are perfectly capable of assessing, diagnosing, prescribing and practicing nurse practitioner drug dispensing.
This can mean an increase in revenue for you in two ways. One, a nurse practitioner is paid half of what you are paid but patient fees are like what you charge. Second, using nurse practitioner drug dispensing as an in office medication dispensing service doubles the profits of this ancillary service.
Nurse practitioner drug dispensing offers much more efficiency than traditional pharmacies.
Patients Receive Medications Sooner
As a physician your schedule fills up quickly. Patients must wait to be seen, delaying the time when they can have access to their medications.
When you have nurse practitioner drug dispensing, your patients can be given quality care without waiting for an opening in your schedule.
Because nurse practitioners are able to prescribe and dispense medicines at the point of care, your patients can receive immediate relief. They do not have to take their prescription to a pharmacy and wait, sometimes an hour or longer, for their medication.
Less Errors in Filling Prescriptions
Let’s face it, pharmacies make errors when filling prescriptions. One reason may be because pharmacies are overloaded with orders. They fill hundreds, if not thousands, of prescriptions each day. There is too much room for error.
Pharmacists rarely have time to contact a physician to verify a prescription. Too often, they use their best judgment rather than risk a long wait on a response from a doctor. This leads to prescription errors.
With nurse practitioner drug dispensing, you can dispense medications in your office, even controlled substances in some states, and prescription errors are virtually eliminated. Your nurse practitioner can consult with you if needed on all prescriptions. They can do this quickly since you share an office.
He or she can seek your advice immediately if they have questions about what to prescribe. Because you both are filling prescriptions for your patients only, you can give special attention to every patient prescription. Individual attention is not possible at a pharmacy.
In addition, nurse practitioner drug dispensing can utilize prepackaged medication services that allow for even fewer errors.
Nurse Practitioner Drug Dispensing Simplifies Refills
Getting a refill at a pharmacy is a process that can sometimes be complicated. If a patient is at the end of their refill sequence and needs doctor approval to continue the refill, it can become a two or three-day process. Sometimes it can be even longer.
This is because the pharmacy must contact the physician’s office. Meaning, they leave a message with a staff member at your practice. The staff member then files the refill request with all the other requests.
When the physician has time to approve the refills and the staff makes the time to give the pharmacy the okay, a day or more has elapsed.
Refills by a pharmacy can face issues. Having nurse practitioner drug dispensing on demand can dispense medications makes the refill process much easier and quicker for the patient and the staff.
The patient simply needs to call in directly to the practice and request a refill. The nurse practitioner in charge of your nurse practitioner drug dispensing program reviews the patient chart to determine in the refill can be automatic or if the patient needs to be seen in person. A response is then given to the patient.
Most of the time the refill is granted and the patient can pick up their refill that same day.
Improved Relationships with Insurance Companies
There are times when patients are given prescriptions by the physician. They drive to a pharmacy and wait for their prescription to be filled. After a while, the pharmacy staff informs them their insurance company does not want to pay for this particular prescription until they have first tried a different variety.
The pharmacy cannot fill the prescription the insurance company prefers. Instead, the patient must return to the doctor’s office, get a new prescription based on the insurance company’s orders, return to the pharmacy and wait even longer.
With nurse practitioner drug dispensing, a nurse practitioner will have direct access to the insurance companies through the dispensing software technology. The software is installed with direct contacts, making it easy to find out which medications can get approved for the patients.
The nurse practitioner, with the click of a button, can determine if a generic brand will get approved before a brand name. Or, if the insurance company will approve or deny certain medications. This prevents the patient from losing hours of quality time where they could be completing other tasks or recovering.
Nurse practitioner drug dispensing adds excellent value to a physician’s practice. When you allow yourself to dispense medications at the point of care, you have increased the value of the practice as a whole. You have also increased your avenues of income, patient convenience, and patient satisfaction.
Nurse practitioners make every step of nurse practitioner drug dispensing more efficient than using the services of a pharmacy. They help give back to your patients by saving them money, time, ensuring confidentiality, and providing proper education about the medicines they will be taking.
If you are considering nurse practitioner drug dispensing of medications, remember this is just one of many ancillary services that can help your practice grow and thrive.