It would be nice if your patients could plan their illnesses and injuries during your regular office hours. But as you know, this is not possible.
They can take place at any time of day, especially with corporations offering shift work, sporting events in the evening and weekends, and do-it-yourself projects going on in homes across the nation.
According to one review, the number of emergency room visits in the United States is over 136 million a year. Also reported is that only 40 million of those are injury related. Many other visits are due to illness or non-emergency visits, likely because they have nowhere else to go after their physician has closed business for the day.
Urgent care facilities are solving this problem. Currently there are over 7,000 urgent care clinics in America and this number is increasing by at least five percent each year and treating nearly 60 million patients.
Urgent care centers are benefiting both patients and doctors. As a physician working in an urgent care, you know you are making a difference.
Urgent care doctors are also finding ways to further benefit the patient inside the facility, with how services are provided. One improvement is with using repackaged medication.
What is Repackaged Medication?
Repackaged medication simply means a medication is taken from its original packaging and placed into a smaller, safer and simpler type of packaging. Repackaged medications are often separated into individual doses, making it easy for the patient to keep on track with their medication schedule.
The repackaging process involves many steps, all of which are important to the process. Some steps may seem greater than others, but they are equally vital. They are all established so that you can distribute medicines without worry.
The benefits to your patients are invaluable and are listed below.
Easy for Patients to Use
Whether it is unit-of-use packaging or bottling, packaging is made to be easy to use by the patient. They come with pre-prepared labeling with serialization. They also have pre-printed information on the packaging so the patient will make no errors on how much to take and when.
Packaging is important for drug stability. Packaging must be able to protect the drugs from external elements. These elements can include shipping conditions, temperature variances and even the outside packaging that holds the repackaged medicines.
Repackaged medications are created in a facility that undergoes strict quality control processes. The guidelines they follow must pass federal regulations. This means companies have specific steps they must abide when repackaging.
The environment of the facility is cleaner than any pharmacy. They are held to stricter guidelines than pharmacies. The equipment used to repackage is state of the art, as well as the security protecting the products.
Pharmacy technician are busy all day long processing prescription orders. They do not have the extensive training a pharmacist has and sometimes this becomes evident. They make errors.
Occasionally, technician’s mistake one medicine for another that is similar in appearance. Or, they fill the wrong dose. Some have even given patients the medication that is supposed to go to a different patient.
Repackaging prevents errors in the process.
It is not the intention of the pharmacy to take a long time to fill an order. They are simply overwhelmed with orders. Patients can often expect to wait a minimum of an hour or longer. Even though it is not intentional, wait times and service at pharmacies have gotten worse.
Providing repackaged medicine at your urgent care allows patients to leave your office with their prescription. This can save some patients two or more hours, depending on how far away from the pharmacy they live or work.
Furthermore, some pharmacies are closed before your urgent care closes. This means your patient may have to wait until the following day to receive medication and they must wait longer to start healing.
Pharmacists only contact the doctor when a refill is needed. They do not call a doctor when a refill has been missed, or several refills have been missed. They say that is patient responsibility. Not all patients are responsible, however.
With repackaged medicines at your urgent care, you are given software technology that allows you to communicate with the patient’s family practitioner as well as any other medical professional working with them.
With repackaged medicine, your patients will leave your office with their medicine, not a prescription. They have no excuses for avoiding taking their medicine. They have no excuses as to why they couldn’t make it to the pharmacy.
Patient compliance improves and non-adherence is avoided. With compliance, you are then able to better monitor the health outcomes of your patient with their treatment team.
Exceptional Quality of Medicine
Repackaged medicines 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. Both the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Food and Drug Administration set forth strict guidelines for repackaging companies. The regulations are set forth to protect the patient, the doctor and the facility doing the repackaging.
If repackaging companies fail to adhere to the regulations, they are warned, inspected and eventually shut down and prevented from operating.
The strict guidelines provided by the repackaging companies make it easy for you to feel comfortable you are providing the ultimate care to your patients.
Urgent cares are increasing in number because they work. They provide many advantages to the patient. There is no appointment times needed; a patient can simply walk in. Services provided at urgent care centers are more affordable than at a physician’s office, especially when insurance companies don’t cover the total cost.
Providing repackaged medication at the time of service at your urgent care is just one more advantage for you and your patients.