Just a few years ago, mail-order prescription delivery service allowed patients to receive their medication, usually on a 90-day plan, through the mail. While it was an exciting new option, there were still limitations for the patient.
For instance, they had to follow the rules of their insurance company, who told them which pharmacy to use, which could change at any time and without notice. In addition, it can sometimes take two weeks to receive medication through a mail order program.
This means you often need to write two prescriptions, one for right away access and another for the mail order program. That’s if there are no communication errors in the process.
Today, a rising service called medication delivery is being used by doctors.
What is Medication Delivery?
Medication delivery is simple in its definition. Without medication delivery, you prescribe a medicine or multiple medicines to your patients. They take that prescription, leave your office, travel across town to a pharmacist and wait another hour or more for their order to be filled.
With medication delivery, you write the prescription, fill the prescription in your office if you are using in-office dispensing, and then give the filled order to your office delivery person. That person takes your patient’s medicine to their house, where they have been able to wait comfortably, for it to arrive.
Your patient gets to avoid the hassle of going to the pharmacy. Instead, they can continue their life, uninterrupted, while still receiving proper health care.
Avoid the Pharmacy
If they have questions regarding their prescriptions, they must discuss them with a pharmacist, in front of everyone else around. Their confidentiality is not well protected.
Patients rarely want to discuss how to use the cream prescribed to help with that “itch”. While your patient knows it is a cream for eczema, the other customers in line may think it is for an unwanted disease. An insecure patient may then feel the need to explain to everyone else it is only for eczema.
Many times, patients avoid asking any questions regarding their medicines to avoid this embarrassment.
Pharmacists do not intentionally make mistakes. They make every effort to get a prescription right the first time. Their work load for filling prescriptions is just too high. When you have hundreds of customers, many of which have multiple prescriptions to fill, mistakes happen.
Pharmaceutical technicians are employed to help fill the overwhelming number of prescriptions. They are quality staff but with a lot less training than a pharmacist. Common errors made at pharmacies include giving customers the wrong order. Meaning, they gave Joe Smith a prescription that belonged to Jane Doe.
Another error happens when the wrong medicine is used to fill the prescription. When Zyrtec and Xanax look similar but have dramatically different results. This could have a very harmful result.
With medication delivery, you have more control over what your patients take. At the time of delivery, you can verify patient information and provide patient education when needed, all the while protecting patient confidentiality.
You are providing a simpler, safer product by dispensing and delivering it yourself.
Even though it is not intentional, wait times and service at pharmacies have gotten worse.
One of the best reasons medication delivery is better than sending a prescription to a pharmacy is the time it saves both you and your patients.
It is not unusual for a patient to wait an hour or longer for a prescription to be filled. Depending on the day, it could be several hours or more. Patients want to feel better fast.
When you deliver medications to your patients, they can begin their protocol, and healing, much sooner.
Technology is advancing and can play a big role in how medicines are prescribed, filled and delivered. When your patient can click on your website or portal and with the click of one button, order a refill of their medicine to be delivered to their home, you will have a very happy patient.
This technology is available and gives you a better connection with your patient. Online, you can communicate with your patient on all their prescriptions. You can make sure they understand the medicine they are prescribed and the importance of following your instructions.
You can link your patient to medication education materials and sites where they can learn everything they need to know to feel comfortable taking their medicine.
Even the packaging of medicine is constantly being reviewed and tested and upgraded.
Current designs are being tested to add a smart element to the packaging. One that can connect with technology such as a smart phone to enable reminders for patients to take their medications on time. Smart apps and programs are showing much progress in this field.
When you deliver medication to your patients, you can teach them about these advancements. Most likely, you will begin to see better health outcomes due to patient adhering to medication instructions.
Reports state that patients do not take their medicine as prescribed. One of the main reasons they do not do this is because they forget if they have taken their dose for the day. Even if they use pill organizers, it can be confusing.
It has been reported that at least ten percent of the American population is on five or more medications. This can be very overwhelming for those trying to stick to a regimen that works
With medication delivery programs, you can work with your patient, training them exactly when to take their medications, and why it is important to do so.
In conclusion, offering medication delivery services to patients can result in happier patients. Happy patients lead to loyal patients. Loyal patients lead to a successful practice for you and your staff.
When done right, delivering medications can save your patients time, prevent frustrations and errors common with pharmacies, introduce them to advancements that make taking prescriptions easier, and help them reap the benefits of medication adherence.
When this happens, you reach your goal of improving the health of patients in need.