Tag Archives: direct medication dispensing

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.



Nurse Practitioner | Proficient Rx

Benefits of a Nurse Practitioner for Drug Dispensing

The role of a Nurse Practitioner today is extensive and valuable. More than ever before, seeking a career as a Nurse Practitioner is popular among both men and women.

While they do not make as much money as physicians, they do offer just as much value to a practice. They are your right-hand man (or woman), without needing to be right there with you always.

The use of a Nurse Practitioner for Drug Dispensing is both smart and efficient for your practice. Below are a few of the reasons why.

Licensed and Certified

Nurse Practitioners spend about nine years in post-secondary education. This is about two years less that physicians complete. They also pass State Board exams, State Pharmacy Board requirements and all certification procedures before they can begin practicing.

Most of their education is in the nursing field, studying the same topics medical physicians study. They must also complete practicums in their field of study.

They Can Provide Diverse Types of Care

Nurse Practitioners can and are perfectly capable of providing a variety of services. When there is an emergency, they can provide acute care.

Many Nurse Practitioners choose to work in Primary or Specialty care practices, scheduling and seeing several patients every hour for both typical and atypical medical issues.

If you have a Nurses Practitioner on staff in your practice, you can double the number of patients you see. This means you can serve more people and increase the revenue flow to your business.

Nurse Practitioner For Diagnostic Testing

Some patients feel Nurse Practitioners take more time with patients and take more precautionary steps to ensure a patient’s health is positive. For example, some Nurse Practitioners seem to order more diagnostic testing and lab work than physicians.

Nurse Practitioners can perform and interpreting diagnostic testing and results. They are prepared to discuss results with patients and doctors.

They Can Prescribe Medications

As a physician, you are busy with your own patients and writing prescriptions for their health. You do not have time to approve medication requests made by other staff who are attending to different patients.

This is not a problem when you are working with a Nurse Practitioner. They are licensed and certified to prescribe medications on their own. This cuts wait time down for both current patients being seen and those still waiting in the lobby.

Nurse Practitioners can fill all types of medications, including controlled substances. They know how to research drug interactions and allergic reaction possibilities.

Maintain Detailed Records

Patient record documentation is a requirement by your State authority agencies. Nurse Practitioners are taught to document all progress and related patient information correctly. Most do this immediately following a patient visit. Some wait until the end of the day.

Because your State audits your patient files, having a Nurse Practitioner that is great with documentation is a plus.

Counsel and Educate Patients

At the end of a patient visit, Nurse Practitioners can ensure each patient receives the proper education and counseling needed for them to understand their health and any instructions needed.

Using in office dispensing software, Nurse Practitioners can simply print the information and go over it with the patient during the visit.

Some patients have a lot of questions. Your Nurse Practitioner is very capable of answering these questions.

Gives You Freedom to Choose

Wouldn’t it be nice to pick and choose which jobs you do each day in your own practice? Well, by hiring a Nurse Practitioner, you can do just that.

Nurse Practitioners can take over jobs you feel do not fit your current areas of practice. For instance, if you want to focus on specialty areas of care rather than people who have the flu, you can assign those patients to your nurse practitioner.

Depending on what your focus is, you can arrange a schedule that meets your needs first. You are no longer stuck spending time fixing health problems that don’t match your talents.

Focusing on your medical areas of interest and allowing your Nurse Practitioner to handle the smaller cases can give you a sense of purpose again. You can reconnect with your passion, accomplish challenging patient issues and enjoy practicing every day.

If you are looking to expand your practice and doubling patient numbers and income. Your time is limited. Hiring a Nurse Practitioner makes sense. It is the one way you can fulfill your goals of providing the best service to your patients and 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 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.