Tag Archives: direct dispensing

Direct Dispensing Benefits | Proficient Rx

The Convenience of Direct Dispensing in Today’s Day and Age

Direct dispensing means you are prescribing medicines or medical products that aid your patients in their recovery from an illness or ailment. With the modernization of how patients can acquire items, it is fortunate that you can be a part of this movement.

Medical vending machines exist for a wide range of products. Even legal marijuana can be purchased from machines. Vending machines are just one example of how convenience is becoming a trend in our nation.

Everyone wants to be able to meet their needs quickly, and for less money. They don’t want to be hassled or bothered. And they certainly don’t want to wait in long lines with other sick people.

Some patients will forego medication altogether if they feel it cost too much or if they must wait many hours to retrieve what they need.

Direct dispensing provides many conveniences for patients, making you look like a hero. Your patients recognize how much you care when you do things to make their life easier, especially when they are ill.

Keep reading to find out just how convenient direct dispensing can be.

Financial Convenience

You can work with a medication dispensing company to get the lowest costs for your patients. You can lower the price of medications while still making a nice profit for yourself.

Your patients are not all wealthy members of society. Many are struggling to make ends meet. Some are living paycheck to paycheck and may even be missing payments on occasion.

Your patients will appreciate the reduced costs you can provide them.

The software that is provided by the dispensing company makes it easy to submit claims directly to insurance company billing departments. This means you can receive your payments a lot faster than before.

Refill Convenience

Refills are so much easier for patients when using in-office dispensing. Often, patients call to get their prescriptions refilled at a pharmacy and are told they need doctor approval for a refill. They then make an appointment to see the doctor, who then approves the refill.

Sometimes patients can just call in to the practice and leave a voice mail regarding the needed approval. Either way, this can take days. By then, patients may have run out of their medication and put their health at risk.

With direct dispensing, the patient can call directly into your office to place the request for refill. You can check their records to determine if a refill can be approved. They go by your office and in just a few minutes, pick up their prescription.

Convenience of Immediate Relief

Patients can be taking their medication within minutes when you dispense at the point of care. You can even administer a dose to them in your office. This reduces anxiety in patients who dread making that trip to the pharmacy only to wait for hours before they can start taking their medication.

When a patient is sick, they just want to take medicine, rest and heal. They want quick relief and their idea of wellness means getting rid of pain as fast as possible. Going to the pharmacy involves many steps: finding a ride, waiting for their ride, waiting at the pharmacy.

It can be hours before the first dose of medication can be taken. This means they spend several extra hours suffering when they could be at home, recovering.

Patients needing medical equipment and supplies can purchase products in your office, in your care. This gives you the opportunity to teach your patients how to properly use their durable medical equipment or supplies.

Being able to get a cane immediately rather than struggling to get to a pharmacy can prevent the possibility of further injuries. Being able to get testing strips at the point of care and being taught how to use a blood sugar monitor can help the patient learn self-care a lot sooner.

Convenient Office Management

Direct dispensing is making the work of office staff easier than ever before. With direct dispensing software, everything from patient records to reporting is streamlined. In just minutes you can access a patient’s records, and run reports to see if they are compliant or due for a refill.

You can also run reports comparing and differentiating all your patients.

The software makes restocking your supplies, printing labels, and billing insurances quick and efficient processes. Your staff can access technical support any time day or night.

Your staff no longer must stack and store paper files. They no longer must give up desk space. And keeping records for the length of time required can be done using the software, not filing cabinets.

Using the dispensing software is so easy, even the staff who are afraid of change will not have problems adjusting.

Convenient Compliance For Direct Dispensing

You are set to higher standards than any other professionals. You are a physician and must remain compliant with all rules and regulations set forth by federal, state and local governments.

Direct dispensing software helps you remain compliant. It makes it easy to track, record, report and print information you will need to turn in to the specific agencies during audits and inspections.

You can scan and input all necessary data needed to show your compliance.

You will be required to show the pharmacy board in your state that you are compliant. You will also need to comply with controlled substances laws and reporting requirements. You must make sure your physician assistants and nurse practitioners remain in compliance too.

Furthermore, you will need to prove you are dispensing appropriately, according to good practices. Policies, procedures, processes and controls will be inspected.

Dispensing software makes monitoring and updating all of these less difficult.



increase practice revenue | Proficient Rx

How to Increase Practice Revenue with Doctor Dispensing

All physicians can benefit from extra revenue, and today, it is easier than ever before to add services to your practice that cost little to start but can bring in a great deal more income. I’m sure you have thought about what you could do with extra revenue. You could increase practice revenue and grow your practice, increase salaries for your employees, provide better insurance and education for your staff. You could even make renovations to the building, adding up-to-date equipment that will improve patient services.

Doctor dispensing is an ancillary service that is proving to be a winner when it comes to increasing practice revenue. It’s a winner because it does not cost much money to implement, yet your return on investment is very attractive.

In office dispensing is the real money maker for you here, but there are many options to help increase practice revenue. Following the below suggestions can help you increase practice revenue by prescribing and filling prescriptions at your office.

Dispense Durable Mobility Devices

Durable mobility devices refer to specific items that help your patients who have experienced illnesses or injuries. They can also help the elderly who need assistance completing daily tasks.

Some patients require the use of mobility devices such as wheelchairs, canes, crutches and walkers. Patients who have injuries or diseases that make it difficult for patients to move around. The availability of durable medical equipment has improved the quality of life for many patients who would otherwise not be able to function.

By providing durable medical equipment in your office, you are helping your patients receive immediate assistance as well as working to increase practice revenue. Most insurance companies will pay for the equipment. However, patients can purchase them outright when they want.

Dispense Personal Care Aids

Personal care aids can help your patients monitor their own vital signs. Heart monitors allow patients to check if there are any abnormalities in their heart rate. If so, they know to contact you. Heart monitors are also a way for you to measure how their heart, so you can make a better diagnosis.

Blood pressure monitors are another example of personal care aids. Checking blood pressure several times a day can prevent further damage to a patient’s health. They can keep records of their blood pressure and report them to you.

People with diabetes need to be able to check and monitor their blood sugar numbers throughout the day. Knowing these numbers can enable a patient to know what to do to control insulin levels. Doing so can literally save the life of a diabetic.

Dispense Prosthesis and Orthotics

Some of your patients may have lost a limb or been born without a limb. A prosthetic limb can give your patient the ability to complete tasks they would otherwise not be able to do. It can give them back their independence, which is one thing they desire.

Even if your patient has not lost a limb, they may still have problems with them. Some patients may require orthotics due to foot related injuries or deformities. Orthotics can offer a patient freedom from pain and normality and can increase practice revenue for you if you provide them directly.

Dispense Medical Supplies

Medical supplies are much different than medical equipment. Supplies are disposable. They are typically used one time and then thrown away.

Medical supplies consist of bandages, gauze, and tape. Other supplies include irrigation tools and rubber gloves that can prevent contamination.

Needles and test strips are considered medical supplies also.

Supplies can be used by the patient, the doctor, nurse and even the caregiver. They are made to increase patient self-care, while preventing the spread of any diseases or infections.

Increase Practice Revenue: Dispense Common Medications

The real money maker is direct dispensing though. Dispensing only the most common medications you prescribe keeps your inventory low but your returns high. You are not required to stock one or two of every medicine available. Instead, you pick medications to store based on the needs of your patients only to increase practice revenue and efficiency.

Some common medications include anti-depressants, blood pressure medications and drugs for controlling cholesterol. Other common medications include diabetic medications, as well as insulin and supplies.

Thyroid issues are becoming increasingly problematic among women and men around the world, making medicines such as Synthroid common.

Many of your patients will visit you due to allergies, nausea and vomiting, attention deficit disorders, and asthma. There will be injuries suffered by your patients such as burns, cuts, and fractures. These can be treated with medicines and supplies at the point of care.

Dispense Controlled Substances

Many patients require treatment with the use of pain medication. You may be hesitant to prescribe pain medication due to the drug problem facing America today. However, by prescribing controlled substances at the point of care, you have a lot more control.

You can control how many pills your patients receive. You control whether they get a refill or not. You can track their refill requests. You can test their blood to see if they are compliant. You can dispense one pill a day, if that is what is needed.

The point is, you get to control how your medicines are used in treatment. There are good patients, who do need pain medicine, that will not abuse the medicine. Don’t let the ones in actual need suffer because other patients abuse the medicine.

Practice safety and use your expertise to determine the patients who will benefit from a controlled substance. Limit the amount you prescribe and continue to treat the patient until they no longer need the medicine.

These are a few ways to increase practice revenue directly. However, you will also notice indirect ways of increase practice revenue. For instance, point of care dispensing increases patient satisfaction; and satisfied patients are loyal patients.

Doctor dispensing saves your patients time. Avoiding the travel and waiting times they would spend at the pharmacy, they can spend that time recovering. Patients feel as if they can start their healing right away, not hours later.

They also make referrals to family and friends, who will want to become patients of your practice. Your business grows, as well as the amount of income you make. When you increase practice revenue it can lead to the ability to add other ancillary services.



Avoid Wrong Medication | Proficient Rx

What Happens if a Pharmacy Gives the Wrong Medication?

The results of a pharmacy getting the wrong medication can be devastating, and even fatal. A Johns Hopkins Medical report claims medical errors are the third leading cause of death in America.

Medication errors account for more than one million emergency room visits each year, according to the Center for Disease Control.

What Are Medication Errors?

A medication error is defined as any event that can be prevented but due to error on the part of the physician, pharmacist or patient, causes harm to the patient.

Such errors can happen due to labeling or packaging errors. Errors can also happen due to compounding, pharmacist dispensing, and even the education provided to the patient from the pharmacy staff.

Pharmacists are busy. They receive hundreds of orders every day from patients who want their prescriptions filled immediately. Because of this type of pressure, it is easy for a pharmacist to miss the mark in various stages of the prescription filling process and hand out the wrong medication or otherwise mess up.

Patient Can Have a Negative Reaction

Pharmacists can accidentally get medicines mixed up. Some medicines have similar sounding names. Some have similar shape, size and colors. When compounding and sorting multiple medicines on the same counter, mix-ups can happen and the wrong medication could be given.

Accidents like these can lead to allergic reactions in patients who trust the pharmacist to get it right.

Allergic reactions can vary from person to person. Hives and rashes can appear on some people who are dealing with a negative reaction. Some may get a high fever, while others may feel their airways swelling or closing from the wrong medication.

Nausea, vomiting, itchiness and coughing are signs to watch for. They will be quite noticeable, making you feel very uncomfortable.

Wheezing and difficulty breathing are more serious symptoms of an allergic reaction. It is important to get medical treatment immediately for any of your reactions, especially to avoid an overdose from the wrong medication or amount.

Patient Can Overdose

Overdose means to take too much of a substance. In this case, it means a patient taking too much of a prescription medicine. When learning about overdoses, you must understand that to overdose, there must be a dose that is first considered safe.

The prescribed dose is the amount the doctor feels will be most effective for treating the patient’s ailment. If someone takes more than the base dose, overdose can become a reality.

Overdoses can be intentional, accidental or due to pharmacist error.

An overdose can happen when a patient takes a higher dose of a medication than they should have. An overdose can also happen when a patient takes the wrong medication, thinking it was the right medicine. Furthermore, an overdose can happen when a patient takes too many medications.

All these are often mistakes created at the pharmacy.

Whether the pharmacist misread the doctor’s prescription or put a label on the medicine with a typo, overdoses do take place way more often than they should.

Patient Can Die

There are several cases in which a patient has been given the wrong medication or the wrong dose of a medicine by a pharmacist and it has lead to their death.  On top of all the pain and heartache this creates, it also sets up a pharmacist for a major lawsuit.

Take the case of a young boy who was given the wrong medication by a pharmacy that was 1,000 times higher than prescribed. Errors like this are devastating for everyone involved. It is devastating because these errors are preventable.

How to Avoid Wrong Medication 7 Other Errors

It is becoming more and more clear that dispensing at the point of care is the safest way to help patients receive the right medication at the right dose for treatment.

Physician dispensing is becoming popular across the nation and patients are feeling the love. This is a convenient and practical service your patients appreciate. In-office dispensing has many benefits.

The most noticeable benefit is safety and reduction in medication errors including the wrong medication or wrong strength.

Physicians can prescribe medications and fill those prescriptions using prepackaged medication, which arrives in individual doses contained in blister packaging for added safety.

Prepackaged medication can be ordered for the specific amount of medicine needed versus getting a bottle full of pills that make it easier for a patient to take more than needed.

Other Safety Benefits of Doctor Dispensing

Storing and accessing prepackaged medicines are easy for you. When you prescribe a prescription, you simply retrieve it from a locked cabinet in your office. The next step is for you to print the label.

Ensuring information is correct on the label is very easy to do when prescribing at the point of care. The information you enter into the computer is automatically printed according to compliance laws in order to avoid giving out the wrong medication or wrong instructions. To further safety, the computer software can alert you if there are interactions between medications.

It makes you verify the information before printing. And because you have hundreds less prescriptions to fill, you have the time to make this effort a priority.

The software can also alert you to when refills are needed for a patient. This ensures they are not missing any doses and having a lapse in treatment.

dispensing controlled substances | Proficient Rx

What Are the Requirements for Dispensing Controlled Substances?

If you want to add dispensing controlled substances to your practice, there are many rules and regulations you must follow. Because controlled substances include narcotics, which can be lethal if abused or ingested incorrectly, the regulations can be considered strict.

As a physician dispensing controlled substances, you must follow both state and federal laws. When your state laws are different than the federal laws, you are required to follow the most stringent rules. Meaning, if you state laws are stricter than the federal laws, you must follow state rules.

Federal laws are often the least strict of the two. For example, federal law does not limit the length of time a prescription is valid, but most states have a six-month limitation.

Dispensing Controlled Substances

The government classifies drugs into five schedules. These are the drugs that need to be heavily moderated due to their negative effects if misused. Drugs can fall into five different schedules.

Schedule I drugs are highly addictive. Most drugs in this class have no medical use and include such drugs as LSD, heroin and peyote. Marijuana, however, has been recently approved for medicinal purposes in some states.

Schedule II drugs are also highly addictive. Many of these drugs are used for medicinal purposes. Examples are dilaudid, Demerol, Percocet, Oxycontin, and Fentanyl.

Schedule III drugs are less addictive but still have the potential of being misused. Examples are Vicodin and Tylenol with codeine.

Schedule IV and V drugs have a low potential for abuse when compared to schedule I and II drugs. Examples include Xanax, Valium or Lorazepam. Robitussin and Phenergan are also included in this class.

You can dispense schedule II through V class of drugs only and you must follow all Drug Enforcement Administration rules strictly when dispensing controlled substances.

DEA Regulations On Dispensing Controlled Substances

The Drug Enforcement Administration makes it clear that when you are dispensing controlled substances of any kind, it must be for a legitimate medical reason. You must make sure it meets all the regulations showing it is valid. In addition, you must verify all information on the drug to make sure it corresponds with the patient.

This means you must verify the patients name, dosage, drug being prescribed, strength and quantity before you give it to your patient.

Every few years you must register with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for dispensing controlled substances.

Rules for Processing

You are the only one in your office who can be dispensing controlled substances to a patient. Plus, the prescriptions you write must be detailed and include the patient’s full name and address.

They must include the date issued, your name and DEA number. It also must detail name of medicine, dosage, strength, quantity and if refills are allowed. Including cautionary warnings, and clear instructions for use are necessary.

You may never post date a prescription. Everything you write on a prescription must be legible and written in ink. You must manually sign the prescription.

If you can only fill part of a prescription through in office dispensing, you must fill the remaining prescription within 72 hours.

State Board of Pharmacy Regulations

You must be licensed by your State’s Board of Pharmacy for dispensing controlled substances. Once approved, you must follow their prescribing regulations.

Such regulations make it very aware that Schedule III and IV controlled substances cannot be prescribed more than five times or for more than six months after the initial date of prescription. A new prescription must be written if needed after the six-month limit.

Refills are prohibited under DEA regulations.

In addition, you must check the prescription drug monitoring program when verifying prescriptions.

Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

Governments have established programs called the prescription drug monitoring program to help physicians verify whether or not a patient has been listed as an abuser of certain drugs. This monitoring system has been a terrific way to prevent patients from doctor shopping.

Doctor shopping has been used for years by addicts who try and manipulate physicians to get prescriptions for narcotics.

Making Changes to a Prescription

As a physician, you are limited to the changes you can make to a prescription. Items you cannot change include the patient’s name, the controlled substance being prescribed, and your signature. The DEA prevents you from changing these items and information related to the drug when dispensing controlled substances.

Prescriptions by Schedule

Each schedule of drugs has specific and detailed prescription filling regulations.

Schedule II drugs include morphine and amphetamines. Physicians cannot fax or email prescriptions. Schedule II prescriptions are only valid for 90 days. They cannot be refilled and are limited to a 30-day supply.

Schedule III drugs are valid for 180 days or up to five refills. A maximum of 30-day supply. This class of drugs can be faxed but not emailed.

Schedule IV and V drugs can be faxed and given orally. You may dispense up to a 90-day supply for drugs that fall under this category. These are also valid for 180 days or up to five refills.

Physicians can prescribe opioid treatment medications to patients who are fighting a narcotic addiction. An example may include methadone or suboxone. However, you must obtain an Opioid Treatment Program license from the DEA before doing so.

One of the most important regulations in dispensing drugs is to keep good records. You must document everything about your prescription and your dispensing controlled substances practices to include who is receiving the drugs, why they are receiving them and why they are necessary.

It is up to you, the physician, to make sure you stay abreast of any changes in regulations at both the state and federal levels. For example, rules vary in emergency situations. Knowing these differences will help you adhere to the strict rules set for dispensing controlled substances.

Furthermore, prepackaged medicines and accompanying software are making great leaps to provide physicians and patients with the best quality service and product, backed by extreme safety practices.

The drugs you plan to dispense, especially if controlled substances, come with heavy restrictions. However, it can be well worth your effort to provide this additional service to your patients.


Doctor Dispensing | Proficient Rx

What Makes Doctor Dispensing Better Than a Pharmacy

Going to the pharmacy to have a prescription filled is not something your patients enjoy. They wait in long lines next to individuals with potentially contagious illnesses. They risk pharmacy errors and lack of confidentiality. And to top it off, they are surrounded by thousands of non-pharmaceutical products luring them to make unnecessary purchases. This leads to the first reason doctor dispensing is better than a pharmacy, no upselling.

No Upselling

Many pharmacies are set up to make money on products other than a prescription. Today, pharmacies sell cosmetics, school supplies and even groceries. There is constant temptation placed on the patient to make impulse purchases while waiting on a prescription.

These impulse buys for items they don’t need are costing your patients money and pharmacies know this. Pharmacies implement product placement strategies to attract your patients to products they do not need.

Improved Education

Your patients rarely receive quality education from a pharmacist. It is not that the pharmacist isn’t able to educate your patient, it is that the patient doesn’t always ask for it. There are several reasons patients do not seek education from a pharmacist about their medication.

They are in a hurry. Patients tell themselves they will read the brochure or google information when they get home. Also, patients notice the pharmacist is busy. They ask patients if they have questions or need education, but you can see in their eyes they really do not have the time.

Furthermore, patients get embarrassed. They do not want all the other patients waiting in line to hear what medicines they are on and how to use them.

With doctor dispensing, patients can receive demonstrations and assistance in learning how to use medications.

Confidential Service

It’s awkward. Waiting in a long line for your name to be called. You approach the pharmacy tech who then calls out your medicine to verify which prescription you are picking up. They then have you verify your birthday, name and other personal information out loud in front of everyone.

This is not the service your patients want. Instead, they want to be given their prescription medication in a private environment. They want to ask questions and gather information. However, they want to do so without others listening in.

Doctor dispensing allows the patient to feel comfortable when asking the staff and the doctor for important feedback on their medications.

Improved Safety

Pharmacist errors are on the rise. This may be because more people are being treated with prescription medications. This may also be because pharmacists and technicians are overwhelmed with the number of orders they receive each day.

It is easier than you think for prescriptions to get mixed up. Too many times, patients are given the wrong prescriptions. Or, they are given the right medicine with the wrong dosage.

Errors such as these can be fatal.

Doctor dispensing avoids such errors because you are only serving your patients. The software included with point of care dispensing keeps track of patients and medications to ensure no mix-ups.

Doctor Dispensing Saves Time

One of the best reasons doctor dispensing is better than 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. With doctor dispensing, patients can receive their medication immediately.

For some, that means immediate relief.

Doctor dispensing saves you time because you no longer need to fax or email or call back and forth with the pharmacy. Your staff is free to focus on patient care rather than communication with the pharmacy.

Increased Revenue for You

Ancillary services such as point of care dispensing makes it easier for you to increase revenue. You can mark up the cost of medicines while still being fair to your patients. You do not have to mark them up as much as a pharmacy might.

Dispensing medicines can lead to dispensing other items such as durable medical equipment. Patients need equipment just as much as they need medicine. From canes and walkers to diabetic supplies. If you are dispensing these items, you can make additional revenue.

These are just a few of the reasons doctor dispensing is better than a pharmacy. Your patients are your main concern. Without them, your practice would not be successful. Providing them with helpful services will keep them loyal to you and will keep your business thriving.



point of care dispensing | Proficient Rx

The Convenience of Point of Care Dispensing

As a physician, you and your staff are looking for ways to improve medical care and services for your office and your patients. There are many steps involved with seeing just one patient. This includes the check-in process, the evaluation, the check-out process and dealing with insurance companies. things such as point of care dispensing can help improve efficiency.

Beyond that, your patients must travel to a pharmacy to get a prescription while you are documenting patient notes and your staff is filing claims.

And that is just with one patient. If you are seeing more than one patient an hour, this could mean you could be assisting between 15 and 40 patients every day. You want to implement the most efficient system you can to satisfy your staff’s and your patients’ needs.

There are many ways to do this. Point of Care Dispensing is the most all-encompassing, providing benefits to your practice as well as to the customers. Below are a few of the conveniences point of care dispensing has to offer.

Easier Communications with Insurance Companies

Gone are the days where your staff must fax and refax documents to various insurance companies. You do not have to wait on hold or call backs for confirmations. Point of care dispensing comes equipped with software technology that has insurance company claims departments pre-installed.

This means with the click of a button your billing staff can send claim forms directly to the insurance company’s portal.

No More Communicating with Pharmacists

Physician and Pharmacy communications aren’t the best. It is mostly done through technology.

But, you can eliminate faxing, refaxing and back and forth phone calls with the pharmacist. All your patient’s information is stored in the point of care dispensing software program, which allows you to distribute medicine to your patients.

The process is simple. You or your staff enters the prescription into the computer. A label is printed with all the details of your patient and their prescription. You then retrieve the prepackaged prescription from the dispensary box, hand it to your patient and you are working with your next patient in no time at all.

Point of Care Dispensing Saves Your Patient Time

Your patients will love in-office dispensing. Some patients hate going to the pharmacy to wait for a prescription so much that they skip the process altogether. Instead, they go home, and their health remains poor.

By prescribing medicines at the point of care, you have more insight to whether your patients are taking their medicine as prescribed. You will be able to measure health outcomes for your patients and determine if their improvement, or lack of, is related to the medicine you dispensed.

Your patients will be quite happy to get their medicine at the point of care. This means they do not have to travel, even for a short distance, to the pharmacist. They don’t have to wait an hour or more for their prescription. They can enjoy immediate relief in some instances.

Point of Care dispensing saves your patients anywhere from one hour to several hours of time. It saves you time by eliminating pharmacy communications, giving you freedom to focus on the care of your patients.

Patients Are More Compliant

As mentioned before, some patients hate going to the pharmacy so much they avoid it. This means they are not likely taking the medicine you prescribed. This means risky behavior that can lead to even poorer health.

When you patient receives their medicine at the point of care, they are more likely to feel obligated to fill it and take it as prescribed.

You can monitor their intake and measure their outcomes. Because the patient knows you will be able to see their chart to determine if they are taking their medicine, they are more likely to follow their schedule. They want to please you by taking their medications.

When they travel to a pharmacy, you really have no way of knowing if they filled their prescription or not.  You must depend on them telling you the truth at their next visit. Or, they will be making a return appointment sooner than expected due to complications of not taking their medicine.

The software used in point of care dispensing can automatically tell you if your patients are requesting their refills as expected. If not, you can consult with them to help them remain compliant.

Point of care dispensing provides you and all your patients with conveniences unavailable anywhere else. It is these conveniences that will keep patients loyal to your practice. You will be a standout practice in your community.



Direct Medication Dispensing | Proficient Rx

How To Be Eligible For Direct Medication Dispensing

There are numerous benefits to direct medication dispensing. Your patients will be excited to learn they are being offered a convenient, confidential and safe way to receive their medications without having to go to the pharmacy.

Direct medication dispensing can offer your patients more affordable prescriptions. Reports show that physicians who dispense at the point of care have clients who are better compliant. When patients are compliant, doctors see improved health related outcomes.

With a direct link between in office dispensing and improved patient health, many physicians are opting for this type of ancillary service. Many are finding that on top of all the other benefits, in office dispensing is increasing their revenue by thousands of dollars.

But before you jump right in to direct medication dispensing from your office, there are eligibility requirements you must meet. Keep reading to learn the necessary steps to take so you can begin dispensing medications to your patients.

Meet State Regulations

Most medication dispensing programs are regulated at the State level. Each State has their own set of rules and guidelines to follow.

Currently there are just a handful of States that do not allow direct medication dispensing of medications. These include Texas, Montana, Wyoming and Illinois.

All other States allow doctors to prescribe medicines at the point of care, if they meet all requirements. Some States may have limitations that others do not so it is important you check the specific regulations of your State.

Common regulations among States include the following:

  • State issued controlled substance dispensing license is required for those of you who wish to dispense Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) scheduled drugs.
  • Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant credentials updated and legal if you plan to allow them to dispense medications.
  • Your State issued dispensing license, if required, which it is in many States.

In addition to meeting these regulations, many States require you meet the Pharmacy Board regulations also.

Meet State Pharmacy Board Regulations

Pharmacy regulations vary by State but you can expect certain laws to be uniform. For instance, most states will require you follow the rules for professional conduct. This includes maintaining patient confidentiality and avoiding fraudulent activities.

Each State requires your prescription order contain specific documentation related to the medicine and the patient, especially if it is a controlled substance. Other information can include dates, quantity, refill information and more.

You may not fill an order if it is older than one year.

You must keep records of medications prescribed. These records need to be available for review by State agencies during inspections.

Furthermore, you must keep track of your inventory, use computerization of prescriptions, follow poison prevention packaging requirements, and maintain privacy and security to patients. You will need to follow safe disposal laws.

When working with a medication distributor, like when you purchase prepackaged medications, you will need to ensure that company meets all regulations as set forth by their State or Federal agencies.

All Drug Enforcement Administration rules apply when it comes to your DEA number and when prescribing controlled substances.

Current State License And DEA Number

Your DEA number allows you to write prescriptions that are considered controlled substances by the government. Controlled substances are ranked and put into five categories. A DEA number allows your prescriptions to be tracked and reported in case of negligent practices.

If you do not already have a DEA number, you can simply apply online using form 224. This is the application for controlled substances registration. You cannot dispense controlled substances without this approval.

You will be expected to give personal information as well as background history. If you do not supply this information, you will not be allowed to register.

Your DEA number does not allow you to dispense medications that treat narcotics addictions. That is a totally separate application and registration process.

Processes And Controls In Place for Staff

You need dedicated staff that place importance on patient care. They need to be committed to providing all documentation related to direct medication dispensing. This may include anything from symptoms to compliance.

The processes used in your office by you and your staff need to be well documented. Everyone needs to know how to label, dispense, inventory, update charts, reporting and any other tasks that may be completed during the process of direct medication dispensing.

Written Office Policies And Procedures Available

Access to office policies and procedures regarding direct medication dispensing need to be available for review at any time. This manual should be a go-to guide for everyone in the office who has a question about dispensing medications.

Your dispensing manual may be like a pharmacist’s manual. It will include important forms and instructions. For instance, the initial screening form that helps you determine eligibility for your program should be included.

The manual will also include important medication recalls, dispensing guidelines, reports on any emergency or negative events, and disposal guidelines. The manual should also include how and when staff have been trained on all things related to direct medication dispensing processes.

Trainings should be ongoing and required by all staff.

Good Direct Medication Dispensing Practices

In the end, you will need to prove you are following good dispensing practices to any Federal, State or local agency that may govern your practice.

The World Health Organization defines good dispensing practices as the way you provide medicine to your patients. Using good practices, you give the right patient the correct medication. The medication is labeled correctly, with all accurate data, including clear instructions for the patient to follow.

From the time you write a prescription until the time the medicine is given to the patient; all the actions in between can determine if your practices are good or bad.

There are a few things you can do to ensure this entire process is consistently successful. You can regularly take part in safety checks with your staff. Provide trainings that keep you and your staff updated on changes to laws and regulations.

Using prepackaged medication greatly reduces any risks of medicine contamination or prescribing errors.

Finally, monitoring and documenting all relative information can assist you in making improvements from year to year, or even month to month.

You can also employ the services of direct medication dispensing companies who thrive in these areas. They can make sure you are compliant with laws, up-to-date on inventories and re-orders, provide you with technology and computer assistance, and give you premium access to modern prepackaged medicines.

Using such a service makes becoming eligible for direct medication dispensing that much easier.


Direct Dispensing | Proficient Rx

Nobody Likes The Pharmacy, Direct Dispensing Is Better

Going to the pharmacy is one of the errands most people dread, especially when they are not feeling well. Pharmacies have a number of problems they face each day and direct dispensing can help save time.

The last thing your patients want to do when they leave your office is to go stand in line with other people, some of which have illnesses that are contagious, waiting on a prescription.

While waiting at the pharmacy, they shop. Once they get home they regret their impulse buys and wish they would have just gotten their prescription and went home. Why do pharmacies need to look more like super centers?

You can buy everything you don’t need at a pharmacy, from groceries to magazines to electronic devices.

Direct dispensing is much better. It saves people money, time and is just a terrific convenience for both the patient and the doctor. Direct dispensing eliminates an entire step and allows people to begin healing sooner.

Below are some comparisons between the pharmacy and direct dispensing, showing you, several ways of how direct dispensing is far more valuable.

Pharmacies Cost More Than Direct Dispensing

Pharmacies do not have the time to search for the cheapest, most affordable prices for each of their customers. They are serving hundreds of customers each day. Pharmacists and their technicians are doing their best to keep up with these orders.

Even if they could find you the cheapest, would they? Some reports say pharmacists hide information from patients.

As mentioned earlier, pharmacies capitalize on the customer’s desire to buy products impulsively. While they may say they are making convenience a priority for the customer. Let’s get real. They are trying to make more money from your patient.

They provide multiple items, anything from diapers to cigarettes to groceries. Some unhealthy items are sold in a pharmacy.  The prices for these items are sometimes twice as high as what they would be elsewhere. Are they really helping the customer? No.

Customers end up spending more money on things they do not need while waiting for their prescription to be filled.

Pharmacies Cost Time

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. This is time the patient wants to be at home, healing, or back to work where they can begin earning money again.

Even though it is not intentional, wait times and service at pharmacies have gotten worse.

Direct Dispensing 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.

This is quality time a patient can spend with family, completing job tasks, or simply resting.

Pharmacies Cost Confidentiality

When your patient goes to the pharmacy, they wait for their prescription to be filled along with the many other people waiting. Eventually their name is called out for everyone to hear.

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.

In a small town, the type of prescription a person is taking can turn into gossip if overheard by the wrong person.

Pharmacists must abide by HIPAA rules. However, that may be hard at times when there are so many customers just standing around, waiting.

With direct dispensing, confidentiality is kept safe and respected always. Your patients feel confident no one else will be involved when getting their medicine.

Pharmacies Cost Compliance

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.

Pharmacists don’t usually know when a patient with a new prescription has failed to get it filled. They are too busy dealing with the patients who are waiting for their prescription. If your patient leaves your office with a prescription and decides they don’t want to go to the pharmacy, you and the pharmacist are not privy to this information.

With direct dispensing, 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.

With direct dispensing, patient compliance improves and non-adherence is avoided. With compliance, you are then able to better monitor the health outcomes of your patient.

Pharmacists Make Mistakes

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.

Direct dispensing is a service offered on a small scale. There is time to double and triple check the orders to make sure they are correct.

Prepackaged medication is often used with direct dispensing. This virtually eliminates any errors, as the medicine is packaged and sealed long before it arrives at your office. Removing potential errors can save lives.

These are just a few examples of why direct dispensing is far better than sending a patient to the pharmacy. Your patients will appreciate the time and money you will be saving them by using in-office dispensing. They will also feel valued by your error free, confidential practices of prescribing medications.

When you provide direct dispensing for your clients, they will provide you with loyalty and referrals.

Dispense Directly | Proficient Rx

Common Drugs to Dispense Directly

Choosing to dispense directly offers physicians many options when it comes to medication. Physicians can choose not only the types of medicines, but also the form in which the medicine arrives, and the amount desired.

Physicians can even choose prepackaged medication that alleviates them of the preparation. In fact, ordering prepackaged medicines means physicians simply print the label and attach it. Using this method for in office dispensing makes it easy for the medical staff and for patients.

Then, the physician simply must choose which types of medications to stock and in what form.

Choosing the Right Form of Medicine to Dispense Directly

When choosing medicines, a doctor will need to determine in which form the medicine will be most effective.

Choices may include tablets, gel caps, and soft gels. They may also be ordered in the form of liquid or creams. While some patients have more success with medicines in pill form, others may only be able to drink a liquid version of the medicine.

If this is the case, it may be best to have several forms of each medicine in stock.

Most Common Physical Illnesses

Physicians may wonder which medicines to keep in stock. Choosing products to supply patients can be simplified by examining reports from places such as the Center for Disease Control.

Based on your specialty, medicinal needs can vary. But in customary practices, these will correlate with the most common illnesses in society.

According to reports, the most common ailments treated among physicians today include hypothyroidism, gastrointestinal disorders, hypertension, cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.

Most Common Mental Illnesses

Depression is the leading mental illness in America, ranging from mild depressive symptoms to major depressive disorder. Anxiety, bipolar disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder are also common mental health disorders.

Mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression, are very layered and with each diagnosis there are multiple sub-diagnoses that are attributed to mental health, or lack of health.

Medications used to treat the symptoms of mental illness are some of the most prescribed medicines in America today.

Most Common Solid Form Dosage Medication

Solid, compressed, time-release and coated are the most common types of solid form dosages today. Tablets appear to be the easiest form for most patients.

Solid form dosage medicines commonly used to treat the most common illnesses are in tablet form. These are used to treat patients with heart disease, as well as many other illnesses.

Issues with thyroid, hypertension, and cholesterol are all common today and there are commonly prescribed medications for these issues that can be keep on hand to dispense directly to patients that need them.

Generic brands are available for the medicines to reduce blood pressure.

All these medicines are available in prepackaged form.

Some patients may be lacking in natural vitamins and minerals. Stocking items such as prepackaged vitamin D or potassium in solid form may benefit some practices.

Doctors can even order prepackaged pain medicines such as hydrocodone in solid form to have available for those patients needing immediate relief. Prepackaged solid form medicines are handled and stored according to regulations for every State.

Some of the more common medicines used to treat mental illness are easy to dispense directly, just like those for physical illnesses. Most mental health medicines come in tablet or gel cap forms. They are ingested in pill form. Some are time released while others are more quickly absorbed.

In-office dispensing would greatly aid in treating patients experiencing depression, anxiety or other mental illnesses as well.

Most Common Cream, Liquid and Injections

Pain relief may also come in the form of analgesics or creams, both of which are available in prepackaged form to dispense directly.

Type 2 Diabetes is one of the most common ailments treated by doctors today. This disease can be treated with more variety.

Some may need insulin or other diabetes related medications. When prescribing for diabetes related issues, it is good to stock a rage of solid form and injection style medicines, along with durable medical equipment like syringes, testing strips and monitors.

Injection kits are readily available, complete with gauze, prep pads and bandages. The kits are created for anti-inflammatory and anesthetic uses, for example. Similarly, cream kits can be stocked for patients who are not able to tolerate pill forms.

Many cream kits are used to treat muscle spasms and are made of mild pain relieving ingredients like ibuprofen.

Most Common Durable Medical Equipment

Durable medical equipment, when you dispense directly, is a huge benefit for patients. Patients who need durable medical equipment often are handicapped or disabled in some way.

When a cane, walker or wheelchair is prescribed for a patient, the last thing they want to do is travel to a pharmacy to pick up the item.

They are in pain and are looking for relief. Supplying durable medical equipment as part of an in-office dispensing program will be appreciated by your patients.

Prepackaged Advantage

Keep in mind that every office has different needs and different medications they want to dispense directly. Thousands of medicines are available for prepackaging. From decongestants to contraceptives to medicines associated with mental illness can be prepackaged and shipped to any clinic, no matter what level of medical degree or specialties exist within a practice.

Physicians find a great deal of comfort knowing each medicine ordered for inventory goes through an intense inspection process that meets FDA approval. Extraordinary steps are taken to ensure medicines are prepackaged correctly and are shipped in a timely manner. It is a top goal to make all custom orders a priority.

When most of your patients are taking at least one prescription, it is likely there are commonalities among the prescriptions you write. Some of your patients are likely on four or five prescriptions for similar problems.

Finding these common prescriptions is a great start to creating your list of medicines to dispense directly.

In office dispensing software can create this list for you. It can also create a re-order for your practice and ship those to you expediently.

Because prepackaged storage boxes can hold thousands of medicines, you will be able to serve much of your case load. This prevents you from having to choose one patient’s illnesses over another when it comes to dispensing. You can store just the right amount for each and dispense directly as needed.

Having your most common medicines available to dispense directly shows your patients you care and want them to start healing immediately.

Direct Medication Dispensing | ProficientRx

Direct Medication Dispensing – What Medications Should I Have Available?

Direct medication dispensing is the result of having hundreds of patients. All those patients means you deal with hundreds of medical problems, and a few mental health problems as well. Some patients are consistent and for the last ten years have only needed an annual review so they can continue taking one or two medications.

Other patients may visit you every other month with news that their physical or mental health symptoms have changed once again. Oh, and they want a new medication to add to the nine they are already taking.

You have made strides in organizing your patients’ data. You have even implemented an in-office medication dispensing system that will greatly benefit your patients. But how do you decide which medications you need the most for inventory in a direct medication dispensing program?

You can’t keep all the medicines available on the market. You must choose a specified number. With thousands of options, narrowing down your list to meet the needs of your patients must be done with a great deal of consideration.

There are a few questions you can answer to help you narrow your list of medications you want to make available at the point of care.

Which Medicines are Common Among Your Patients?

Great in-office dispensing software can organize reports for you that will tell you exactly which medicines are most commonly used among your patients.

Sure, you will be able to quickly recall the prescriptions you write the most. Maybe you are writing a lot of medicines to control blood pressure or diabetes. Maybe you are prescribing more medicines for anxiety or depression.

However, because your patients’ needs can change, so will the most common prescriptions you write. Without a good tracking program, it will be difficult to keep accurate records of the medicines you need to have on hand the most for your direct medication dispensing program.

Once you establish a tracking program, you will be able to easily determine the most common medicines prescribed for your patients. Then you will know how to prioritize your inventory. Meaning, you can order a larger number of the medicines that are used the most and a smaller number of the prescriptions you rarely use but would like to keep on hand for direct medication dispensing.

Which Medicines are Most Common in Society?

New medicines are frequently getting approved by the Federal Drug Administration. As soon as you become acquainted with one drug, a pharmaceutical representative is asking you to lunch to show you a new and improved version.

Also, your patient list is growing. This means you will be presented with new illnesses that require different medications.

Learn which medications are prescribed the most in society. This will give you a good list of drugs to have in-office, just in case you need them.

According to reports, the most prescribed drugs in 2016 included medicines for cholesterol, thyroid, high blood pressure, heartburn, Type 2 Diabetes and hydrocodone. It would be a good idea to consider these common options for direct medication dispensing in your office.

Opiates and Narcotics for Direct Medication Dispensing?

This may seem like an unusual suggestion. Most doctors shy away from keeping narcotics at the point of care with good reason – they fear the narcotics will welcome thieves. Another fear of having narcotics on site is that it may cause patients to become aggressive when asking for a prescription.

Having opiates and other addictive medicines readily available through your direct medication dispensing system is not all bad.

When you see a patient in severe pain, they don’t have to wait an additional hour or more at the pharmacy for relief. You will be able to start them with initial pain relief medicines at the point of care.

You may be thinking about those patients who are abusing their medications. With a direct medication dispensing system, you will be able to monitor their use, or abuse. You will be able to track their calls for refills, their excuses of why they ran out early or, if they are under-using their medications.

Which Life-Saving Medications Will Benefit My Patients?

Because prescription drugs are abused by many, overdose can be a threat. If you are prescribing opiates to someone who may be abusing the drug, it may also be beneficial to prescribe an opiate anti-dote such as Narcan.

You may also see patients with allergies. Some allergic reactions can be severe. If you are treating patients with life threatening allergies, being able to provide them with an epi-pen or anti-histamine at the point of care could make a difference in how they recover from an allergic episode.

Dispensing life-saving prescription drugs and equipment as part of your direct medication dispensing program may literally save the life of one of your patients.

Is There a Need for Durable Medical Equipment?

Accidents happen. Your patients seem to have their fair share of injuries related to accidents at home, work and even play.

If one of your patients visits you and has a severe sprain, it would be beneficial to them if you could give them crutches at the point of care, rather than having them visit a medical equipment store or hospital.

You will most likely be caring for patients who have been injured on the job. They have worker’s compensation that will cover any expenses needed for durable medical equipment. The faster you can get the equipment that will help them, the faster they can feel relief and focus on healing.

To decide which medical equipment to keep in stock at your practice, determine the most common injuries you treat. For the most common injuries your patients suffer, stock multiples of the equipment used to treat the injuries.

Stock only one or two of the less common injuries you treat.

This may mean you have ten sets of crutches and canes, and only 1 wheelchair. You may have 20 wound care kits but only 2 commodes.

You can use your inventory software program to help you replenish your stock when it gets low. You can also run reports that help you determine items you may not need at all.

The medications you determine necessary for your practice may differ completely from other physicians. If you are a cardiologist, the medicines you choose for direct medication dispensing will not likely be medicines a Psychiatrist might use.

Or, if you are a gynecologist, the medicines you prescribe will not be the same a Pediatrician will prescribe.

By implementing the right direct medication dispensing program, your questions regarding which type of medications to make accessible can be easily answered.