For decades, pharmacy dispensing has been the standard strategy for getting prescription medications into the hands of patients. However, today’s patients expect a more streamlined pharmacy dispensing process. This expectation has given way to on-site pharmacy dispensing, alternatively known as physician dispensing.
If you are a doctor, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner authorized to prescribe medications, you should consider integrating in-office pharmacy dispensing into your workflow. Dispensing medication in-house streamlines the patient care journey and generates an additional revenue stream for your business.
Let’s take a closer look at how it compares to the practice of pharmacy dispensing and examine the other benefits in-office dispensing brings to your patients.
The Traditional Model: Pharmacy Dispensing
The traditional pharmacy dispensing model involves five key steps:
- The provider sends the prescription to the pharmacy
- The patient drives to their community pharmacy
- The pharmacy technician reviews the prescription, including medication/dose recommendations, and verifies the patient’s identity
- The pharmacy technician packages the medication in the requisite bottle, prints a label, and provides the patient with a pamphlet
- The pharmacists offer to counsel the patient about the medication and any potential interactions or adverse effects
There are a few fundamental shortcomings with the traditional model. The first is the commute to the community pharmacy. From a pure convenience perspective, some patients may not want to drive to a pharmacy and wait for the order to be filled right after their appointment. This can cause delays in patient care or, in some cases, medication non-compliance.
Another concern is communication issues between the pharmacist and your office. For instance, let’s say you prescribe a patient a medication they need to fill immediately, but the pharmacy tells them it is out of stock. The patient will then need to contact your office, find another pharmacy to fill it, and ask you to send the prescription to another location.
Wouldn’t it be easier if clinicians could fill these prescriptions in-house? If your office offers on-site pharmacy services, you can do just that.
In-Office Physician Dispensing: A Game Changer
Alternatively known as in-office pharmacy dispensing, physician dispensing provides prescribed drugs to patients at the point of care. All you need is the appropriate licensing, an internet connection, a printer, and a repackaged prescription drug provider like Proficient Rx.
Proficient Rx provides doctor’s offices and clinics with repackaged prescription drugs, including controlled substances. Proficient Rx clients also have access to our proprietary, web-based doctor dispensing system at no extra cost.
Once you enroll in our program, you can develop your preferred formulary and order medications through our web-based solution. Your prepackaged medications are shipped straight to your office, along with other dispensing supplies.
After you receive your inventory, you can start prescribing medications from your in-office stock within minutes. You can print labels and leaflets, track orders, and create an auditable compliance trail from a single platform.
Breaking away from the traditional pharmacy dispensing model provides significant advantages for your patients and your clinic. With Proficient Rx physician dispensing services, you can:
- Improve patient safety
- Educate patients on potential side effects
- Quickly fulfill medication orders
- Simplify the drug dispensing process
- Improve patient outcomes
- Generate extra revenue for your clinic
Now that you know the advantages of in-house pharmacy dispensing, let’s further explore how it compares to the traditional model.
Key Differences Between Pharmacy and Physician Dispensing
The most notable disparities between traditional pharmacy dispensing and physician dispensing include:
Medication Access and Convenience
Filling prescriptions directly in your medical practice makes medications far more accessible. Furthermore, your patients will no longer need to commute to their local pharmacies. Instead, they can receive high-quality care and fill their prescription in one place.
Medication Adherence and Patient Outcomes
Providing prescriptions in the office helps you impact your patients more directly. For instance, it allows you to offer personalized patient counseling, ensure that your patients receive the proper dosage, and increase adherence.
Workflow Efficiency for Healthcare Providers
Miscommunications between your office and the community pharmacy can lead to medication delays and other workflow inefficiencies. In contrast, becoming a dispensing physician will promote better workflow efficiency, as you will oversee all dispensing processes in-house.
Customization of Medication Regimens
When you integrate a dispensary into your clinic, you can customize medication regimens to align with the unique healthcare needs of each patient. Conversely, the traditional model makes it challenging to customize regimens due to the disconnect between providers and pharmacists.
Prescription Tracking and Reporting
Over the last decade, the Food and Drug Administration has rolled out a series of stringent prescription tracking requirements. Many of these stipulations are part of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). Under the traditional model, the dispensing pharmacy is responsible for meeting all tracking and tracing requirements. However, when you become a dispensing physician, these record-keeping responsibilities are passed on to you.
Revenue Generation Potential
Expanding your care scope creates additional revenue streams for your clinic. The compounding revenue of issuing prescriptions and filling them promotes business continuity and growth.
Medication Error Reduction
In-house dispensing drastically reduces the likelihood of medication errors. Since you are familiar with standard abbreviations and the subtle differences between frequently prescribed drug names, you can ensure your patients get the proper medication the first time.
Transitioning Between Models
Becoming a dispensing physician can benefit your practice and patients. However, you must carefully consider licensing requirements and choose the right medication dispensing system.
Proficient Rx provides FDA-compliant prepackaged medications and an intuitive web-based software solution. Together, these services offer a clear path to becoming a dispensing clinic while protecting you from compliance concerns.
Benefits of In-Office Physician Dispensing
On-site pharmacy dispensing offers many benefits over traditional pharmacy dispensing, including:
- Improved Medication Access and Convenience: Eliminate access barriers by providing patients with their medications directly in the office.
- Enhanced Medication Adherence and Patient Outcomes: Ensure patients get the proper medications the day of their visit to improve adherence and outcomes.
- Streamlined Workflow for Healthcare Providers: Eliminate workflow friction by dispensing medications on-site.
- Customization of Medication Regimens: Solutions like Proficient Rx empower you to customize medication regimens, improving patient outcomes.
- Real-Time Prescription Tracking and Reporting: Using Proficient Rx to support your dispensing operations ensures you can precisely track every transaction and maintain compliance.
- Revenue Generation for Healthcare Practices: Proficient Rx offers zero out-of-pocket cost service models and cash-and-carry programs to maximize your revenue.
- Reduction in Medication Errors and Delays: Avoid miscommunications, delays, and errors through on-site dispensing.
The physician dispensing model is a game changer for your patients and practice. However, you must choose a partner that prioritizes compliance and patient safety. Proficient Rx is that partner.
Regulatory Compliance and Safety
Proficient Rx repackages prescription medications according to state and federal laws, including DEA and FDA regulations. At Proficient Rx, patient and public health are always our top priorities.
In addition to promoting safety, we support your compliance with built-in controls and stringent quality assurance protocols. Our secure web-based software was designed by FDA and HIPAA requirements to protect confidential patient data and preserve your reputation. The platform also creates detailed records that you can use for routine compliance checks or official audits.
Making the Transition to In-Office Physician Dispensing With Proficient Rx
Are you ready to transition to in-office physician dispensing and elevate your quality of care? If so, contact Proficient Rx, and discuss how we can better serve your patients together.