Point-of-care dispensing, also called in-office medication dispensing, allows patients to get the medications they need right from their physicians without having to go to another location. By having medication access via a dispensing system right at the doctor’s office, patients not only receive the drugs they need immediately but also receive information on how to take the medication directly from their doctor.

By learning why medication dispensing is crucial for both patients and doctors, you can decide whether it’s an option that will work for your location. Proficient Rx helps you better understand point-of-care dispensing.

Improving Patient Outcomes

Physician dispensing lets patients get the medications they need immediately after a diagnosis. Doctors can ensure the patient doesn’t delay in getting treatment while also improving patient compliance. Patient compliance is usually a concern, with many people delaying getting their medications because of time constraints or being unsure of how to appropriately take the drugs.

A dispensing process that allows patients to receive the medications from their doctor guarantees that patients leave the location with the medicine they need. This also impacts patient satisfaction, making them more likely to return for future care.

Streamlining Workflow in Healthcare Practices

Point-of-care medication dispensing helps reduce delays in medication administration for patients while helping to avoid the process of dealing with pharmacies, which takes time and distracts from other care duties. Dispensing services also enhance efficiency. Once your staff learns to use the system, they’re able to provide the dispensing, refilling, and billing duties by simply pushing a few buttons.

By integrating into existing workflows, point-of-care medication dispensing allows you and your staff to spend less time on repetitive tasks and administration. In turn, you can focus more on patient care.

Benefits for Healthcare Providers

Healthcare providers benefit from point-of-care dispensing as well. It empowers the care team to give patients what they need quickly. Providers have the chance to customize medication regimens to target the needs of each patient. Instead of involving a pharmacy in the process, your patient can receive clear guidance from you.

Point-of-care dispensing also saves healthcare providers time. Pharmacy calls pull you and your staff away from your tasks. By streamlining the process of prescribing and filling the prescription on-site, the entire care facility becomes more efficient.

Medication Safety and Accuracy

Point-of-care dispensing helps reduce medication errors. It integrates medication management into the patient’s visit, making it possible for physicians to check that the patient receives the right medication and knows how to take it correctly. You can also check the prescription against the patient’s medical history to avoid issues with dosage, drug interactions, or allergies.

Regulatory Compliance in Point-of-Care Dispensing

Compliance with state and federal law is essential when using point-of-care dispensing programs. You have to comply with the physician dispensing laws regarding the storage of drugs and the tracking of prepackaged medications. Each state also has its regulations for doctor dispensing.

Some states allow doctors to dispense medications under their state medical licenses, while others require permits for controlled substances. In certain states, you need a permit to dispense any kind of medication.

Technological Solutions for Point-of-Care Dispensing

Point-of-care dispensing relies on special software geared toward integrating existing procedures with a dispensary. Dispensing services work with Electronic Health Records (EHRs), which offer patient records in real-time, allowing those with access to get information on medical history, previous or current medications, and more. This makes it possible for the healthcare team to know what medications to safely offer patients.

In the future, the focus will likely be on telemedicine and electronic prior authorization. Point-of-care diagnostics that connect with dispensing solutions to provide an even more streamlined process for patients and care teams will be important, too.

Case Studies: Successful Implementation

The successful implementation of dispensing services offers the right level of patient care. Patients who struggle to fill prescriptions because of mobility issues or transportation problems don’t have to delay getting the treatments they need if they can receive them when they come for their doctor’s appointment. The same applies to older patients who may be unable to visit the pharmacy and stand in line.

One study published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice also found bedside dispensing services to be helpful. In particular, they proved to speed up discharge prescriptions for patients who needed to leave the hospital while ensuring they received their medications.

These services involved giving the prescriptions to the nurses to fill at the ward pharmacies instead of to patients and encouraging doctors to write prescriptions as soon as they decided to discharge a patient. These changes streamlined the whole process and ensured that patients had the medications they needed quickly.

The study additionally showed that the dispensing process was able to detect medication errors and provide greater cost savings. Furthermore, drug dispensing increased not only patient convenience but patient safety as well by being able to catch certain errors, especially those involving inappropriate dosages.

Addressing Challenges in Point-of-Care Dispensing

Point-of-care medication dispensing has many regulations in place, and compliance is vital. This is not always easy to achieve, however, especially with the different state regulations you need to adhere to.

Another challenge in point-of-care dispensing is insurance billing, which can become more complex if the proper measures are not in place. In instances wherein patients want to use their insurance to pay for medications, they may only be able to use pharmacies and not physician dispensing services.

Another worry is that, with doctors both prescribing and dispensing medications, there is only one set of eyes monitoring the patient. As a result, medication errors might occur at higher rates.

Addressing these challenges will require several steps to be taken, including the following:

  • Educating physicians on the process of billing insurance companies successfully
  • Establishing means of ensuring compliance with state and federal regulations
  • Ensuring that the dispensing software is connected to Electronic Health Records to avoid prescribing the wrong medications

The process also involves promoting an atmosphere of continuous improvement, carefully noting what needs to change and finding ways of implementing those changes.

Patient Education and Communication

Patients must understand the benefits that doctor dispensing offers, including the chance to decrease some of the hassle they would have to go through to get their medications. Providers have to take the time to address patient concerns about the process, especially about the use of insurance.

A huge benefit of medication dispensing is that it fosters better patient and doctor relationships. It makes it possible for doctors and patients to work together to customize treatments for better outcomes.

Looking to the Future: Emerging Trends

The trends in physician dispensing revolve around better software that integrates with existing services. Finding more streamlined ways of dealing with insurance is another focus. The continued development of point-of-care diagnosing and testing will also make dispensing easier, creating a cohesive system patients can depend on.

Regulations and standards are fluid and will likely change as new technology makes in-office medication dispensing more common. This is especially true for any controlled substances that require more oversight.

By making healthcare practices safer for patients and more streamlined for physicians, point-of-care dispensing is poised to become a transformative influence on the entire system and how it functions.

Improving Patient Care

Turning to point-of-care medication dispensing programs allows you to offer your patients a satisfying experience that removes the hassle of going to a pharmacy for a prescription. You’re able to speak with them about how to use their medications while improving compliance.

At Proficient Rx, we offer the chance to implement in-office dispensing to help your practice. Learn more about our services today.