Tag Archives: in-office dispensing

Ancillary Services Medical Urgent Care - Pro Rx

What Ancillary Services Are Best for An Urgent Care?

Ancillary services for medical urgent cares can differentiate your practice from others, in turn improving patient satisfaction and safety, while reducing medication errors.

If you are a physician working in an urgent care center, improving the immediate health of your patients is at the top of your priority list. Your patient-centered practice provides a safe, welcoming, stress-free environment. You provide services after hours and on weekends, offering a much needed convenience to your patients.

Patients can even save money by visiting an urgent care versus an emergency room when their primary care physician’s office is closed.

If you haven’t started already, providing medical ancillary services in your urgent care can set you apart from other urgent care centers. And with every ancillary service you provide, you can expect to receive an increase in revenue.

Providing ancillary services is on the rise in many urgent care centers and most services typically have a strong return on investment, and can significantly improve patient satisfaction.

There are multiple ancillary services that can benefit patients, but not all are beneficial in an urgent care setting. You want to ensure the services you provide are a good fit for both the urgent care and the patients.

Before making choices, it is important to have a good definition of what medical ancillary services are and how they can help you.

 

Medical Ancillary Services Explained

Ancillary services allow you to provide in your practice many of the diagnostic tools you need and also make life easier for your patients.

Services may include providing x-rays, collecting blood and urine samples and their corresponding tests, and a variety of therapies.

To figure out the urgent care ancillary services that meet the needs of your practice, begin considering the many actions you perform during patient visits. Most services can be categorized as either diagnostic, therapeutic or custodial.

These are discussed in further detail below.

 

Diagnostic Ancillary Services

In the past, patients would get orders from a physician who needs tests and images to help make an accurate diagnosis. The patient would then travel to a separate imaging facility or laboratory to receive these services and the doctor would wait for the results. All the while the patient waited on results and further instruction. This could sometimes take days and was not easy on the patient or the doctor.

Fortunately, this is no longer the case. By installing ancillary services for medical diagnostics; laboratory testing, DNA testing, ultrasounds, radiology, and diagnostic imaging can be done on the spot in your urgent care center.

 

Therapeutic Ancillary Services

Physical and occupational therapies are common ancillary services for medical therapeutics. Both can help patients overcome an injury or ailment physically so they can have a better quality of life. The advantages of these rehabilitation therapies can range from helping patients regain strength to helping patients walk again.

Additional therapies include massage, chiropractic, and even speech therapy for patients who need it.

While all of these may not be a good fit for an urgent care, you may want to add one or more that can meet the needs of patients with more specific needs.

For example, if many of the patients you see have sports related injuries like muscle sprains, adding a therapist who specializes in this area can save your patients much time and money seeking help. Or, if many of your patients complain of back pain, having a chiropractor or massage therapist on staff can offer them quick relief.

 

Custodial Ancillary Services

Technically, urgent care centers are considered custodial ancillary services because of the great benefits you provide to caregivers and their loved ones who often need treatment in a timely manner due to an unexpected occurrence.

To improve in this area, simply continue to provide skilled assistance to those in need. You could also provide durable medical equipment that caregivers and patients may not have easy access to in emergencies.

Selling durable medical equipment at the point of care is an advantage for every patient. It’s also an easy way to boost revenue for the urgent care center.

 

Durable Medical Equipment

Patients visit you for many reasons: broken bones, sprained ankles, back pain, and more. After your diagnosis and before their discharge, you can provide your patients with durable medical equipment and supplies that can help in their healing and maintain their functionality.

Wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, canes, blood pressure monitors, blood sugar monitors, bandages, gauze, and safety bars are just a few examples of durable medical equipment and supplies.

You make money by marking up the price of the item to increase your revenue but can keep the cost lower than pharmacies, so your patients benefit also. Your patients will appreciate the convenience of receiving these items at the time of their visit.

Providing durable medical equipment as an ancillary service can lead to an even better service, in-office dispensing.

 

In-Office Dispensing

In-office dispensing means you write a prescription for your patient, and you fill that prescription in your urgent care center at the point of care. The patient leaves your office visit with their prescription in hand.

Many urgent care centers have seen patient satisfaction quickly increase because they can avoid the pharmacy, which can take hours before receiving their medication, and no one likes to go anywhere when they are feeling really sick.

By dispensing medicine at the point of care, you are offering a major benefit to your patients. Plus, dispensing gives you a chance to show the patient how to properly use their medication and why it is important that they take it. This allows you to feel more confident the patient understands your instructions.

When patients understand why they need to take the medication and when it is easy for them to obtain, they follow-through. Meaning, their health outcomes will improve.

In-office dispensing is easy to set up, comes with streamlining software, round the clock technical help, and helps you maintain compliance with state and federal regulations.

 

Conclusion

The best ancillary services for medical urgent cares are the ones that help you keep the patient-centered focus you need. Think about which services your patients use the most. Then think about the services that offer the most benefits for your urgent care center.

Then, go for it. Your patients will thank you for it.

Contact Us for Medication Dispensing In-Office - Proficient Rx

In-House Dispensing Benefits During COVID-19 - Proficient Rx

In-house Dispensing Is More Important Than Ever, Here’s Why

The United States healthcare system has been increasingly overwhelmed in the past year due to COVID-19, making in-house dispensing more important than ever.

With pharmacies and hospitals overwhelmed by long lines, endless phone calls, and the logistics of storing and administering millions of vaccines over the coming weeks, many Americans are rightly worried about the impact such a rollout might have on our healthcare system.

At a time when those most affected by illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease have already been struggling with an incredibly difficult year, the coming few weeks are sure to intensify fears and anxieties around getting safe and reliable care for a myriad of conditions.

In-house dispensing solutions will be more important than ever as a means to help take the pressure off traditional medication suppliers, such as pharmacies and grocery stores, improve medication adherence at a critical juncture in the pandemic, and help protect the most vulnerable and at-risk in our population get the medicine they need. Let’s discuss some of the reasons point-of-care in-office dispensing will play an increasing role in 2021.

 

COVID Scares Can Lead to a Limited Stock

Local flareups in cases may lead to a limited stock of crucial over the counter and prescription medication in pharmacies and grocery stores, leaving some with a drastically reduced supply at home. This is especially dangerous for individuals who rely on a steady supply of prescription medication to manage their disease, including anti-hypertensive drugs, antibiotics, or even SSRIs.

Robust in-house dispensing capabilities allow local physicians to maintain a healthy supply of common over the counter and prescription medication for patients who either cannot risk large crowds during COVID scares or are otherwise disadvantaged and cannot be the first in line to stock up on medication they need to survive, due to long travel times or incapacity.

Assuring your patients that you can help provide them with medication without risking the trip to the next pharmacy or facing potential crowds can also help improve doctor-patient relationships and build a robust reputation within your community for patients who value an often-safer alternative.

 

Pharmacies and Grocery Stores Mean Larger Crowds

Some patients are naturally less inclined to follow medication directives, either due to their illness itself (as is the case in many illnesses with depressive symptoms, or associated stigma), due to distance and other circumstances, or perhaps due to the hassle and time cost.

With the pandemic, these patients have even less of a reason to go out of their way to fulfill a prescription – often to their detriment – especially if they can’t risk getting stuck in line, for medical or scheduling reasons. Helping patients avoid lines and crowds can ultimately help save lives.

While many apothecaries, pharmacies, and grocery stores mandate and enforce social distancing rules and mask wearing, they cannot always control behavior around the premises.

 

In-House Dispensing Is Convenient, Fast and Safe

While some patients are seeking a better alternative given current circumstances, others will benefit from properly implemented in-house dispensing due to its efficiency and potential for improving patient adherence.

A patient is much more likely to stick to their treatment plan when personally advised at the point of care and are given the opportunity to ask further questions they might not feel comfortable asking in a public pharmacy.

The added convenience of providing medication at the point of care can help encourage patients to come back and makes tracking patient adherence and medication use and scheduling follow up appointments much easier, especially through an in-house dispensing software.

If patients experience adverse drug effects as a result of a new prescription or unmentioned counterindication after receiving medication through an in-house dispensing service, they are more likely to contact the physician dispensing company for advice or help than contact an emergency room.

This can not only lead to a lower medical bill down the line but can potentially save both the doctor and patient time, as the dispensing physician may have a much better and immediate idea of what’s going on.

In addition, in-house dispensing services can be simplified and streamlined to make the individualized packaging and printing of labels as easy and fast as possible, meaning almost no additional time spent preparing the medication for each patient, and countless hours saved otherwise calling pharmacies ahead of time to establish availability, double check on unfilled prescriptions, and manually track patient adherence.

Clinics can also leverage simple curbside pickup protocols to ensure maximum safety when preparing and dispensing medication for patients who are most at-risk during the pandemic, further minimizing loss of life and offering a crucial service.

 

Implementing In-House Dispensing Safely and Effectively 

There are different state rules for in-house dispensing. Each state’s board of pharmacy has a different set of policies on the matter. Some states restrict which substances physicians may dispense, what amounts they may be limited to, and under what circumstances these rules may change.

However, only a handful of states outright prohibit in-house dispensing, and with the right partner, you can often leverage the benefits of direct dispensing in your state to:

  • Better serve your patients
  • Reduce their risk of infection
  • Do your part to provide relief for overwhelmed pharmacies and grocery stores.

The trick is finding that right partner. We at Proficient Rx specialize in providing access to individualized and customized brand and generic medication through our state-of-the-art FDA- and DEA-approved repackaging facility, and our free-of-charge web-based direct dispensing software, greatly simplifying inventory management and in-house dispensing logistics.

We offer different medical products and services aimed to help clinics and practices serve their patients throughout the pandemic, including vital PPE and telehealth solutions. At Proficient Rx, we also offer live customer support, answering all your questions and walking you through the minutes-long implementation process for our dispensing software.

Properly implemented in-house dispensing can help save lives and simultaneously equip you with a definitive value proposition.

Contact Us Today for In-Office Dispensing - Proficient Rx

Physician Dispensing Company - Proficient Rx

What to Look for In A Physician Dispensing Company

There are many benefits to partnering with a physician dispensing company, but what should you look for in these companies? How do you know which company is right for you?

Physician dispensing or in-office dispensing can be a boon to patient satisfaction and a clinic’s growth and revenue, representing both a useful marketing tool for capturing the interest of patients who would rather avoid making additional trips to the pharmacy, and a way to improve patient-physician relationships and greatly impact the concerning issue of medication adherence.

Figuring out what your practice might need to get started as soon as possible can be a complicated process all on its own. Then there’s the trouble of sourcing and regularly stocking medication, printing labels, tracking patient prescriptions and follow-up information, and doing it all in a way that’s both safe and compliant with state and federal law.

This is where physician dispensing companies become an invaluable resource for any healthcare provider considering direct dispensing. A reputable and experienced medication dispensing company will work you through the steps locally required to begin dispensing at the point-of-care, help you determine what medication to stock, and often outfit your practice with a software solution for tracking inventory, sales, and more.

 

Why Bother with Physician Dispensing? 

Doctor dispensing is a particularly valuable service during a pandemic, as it helps healthcare providers minimize patient risk by helping them source their medication in the same spot where they receive their care, and by providing an alternative to the pharmacy for refilling prescriptions.

Even outside of the context of an ongoing public health crisis, doctor dispensing has a marked effect on both patient adherence and patient satisfaction, two metrics that can greatly improve a practice’s reputation and save patient lives.

While regularly stocking and managing an inventory of medications might seem like a substantial drain on practice time and resources, it doesn’t have to be with the right partner. Through repackaged medication and smart pricing, most practices can make a humble profit while offering a service that is both a benefit to the practice and its patients, and it’s neither costly nor time-consuming to implement.

 

Finding the Right Physician Dispensing Company to Partner With

When setting up in-office dispensing, you will want the following qualities in any potential partner:

 

1. Responsive, User-Friendly, and Intuitive Software

When working with a physician dispensing company, it’s important that you have a reliable, intuitive, and automated way to order, manage, track, and dispense your inventory.

Good dispensing software will automate as much of the process as possible, minimizing human errors by:

    • Ensuring that every prescription is tracked and accounted for
    • Organizing and keeping records automatically
    • Making it easier for physicians to go over their patient information and schedule follow-ups with patients to improve medication adherence and provide another opportunity for patient education
    • Quickly retrieve summaries of their patients’ respective prescription and medication histories

 

2. Web-Based and Secure Service

Your doctor dispensing company should be utilizing web-based systems. Web-based dispensing systems don’t require tedious installation, are easily scalable across platforms and devices, and are much easier to integrate with other systems. These systems remove a lot of maintenance headaches and completely eliminate the need to regularly download and install updates or patches (as these are rolled out automatically). Because of this, they take a lot of the hassle out of utilizing a software service by simplifying the implementation process as much as possible.

Security is also important, especially when handling sensitive information like medical data. Web-based systems will store information online, keeping it safe and encrypted while letting healthcare providers easily manage, order, and track medication in just a few clicks, without ever having to download anything.

 

3. Swift and Effective Live Customer Support

With critical services like medication dispensing and HIPAA-compliant high-quality telehealth, having access to reliable customer support is essential. You want a partner with a reputation for helping clients sort issues out before they evolve into greater problems, and help with every important step towards full implementation; from employee training to basic troubleshooting.

Furthermore, each state’s Board of Pharmacy may have different regulations and requirements surrounding direct dispensing, and these may change. Keeping up to date on changes and new requirements important.

 

4. A Stellar Reputation

Reputation is important when picking a physician dispensing company to partner with. Dispensing prepackaged medication can be a great ancillary revenue stream for any private practice, but you want a partner with a stellar reputation and a history of providing top-quality services to healthcare providers.

Currently, only a fraction of healthcare providers and practices are leveraging these services to their benefit. Picking up on the trend early can help you distinguish yourself from other healthcare providers and grow your patient base.

At Proficient Rx, our top priorities are patient convenience and affordability while ensuring full compliance. We find that helping our clients cater to these points not only provides a substantial boost in satisfaction and reputation, but allows for a steady stream of additional revenue, and positively impacts patient-physician relationships.

Our simple in-office dispensing software is web-based and intuitive, allowing healthcare providers to immediately take advantage of the benefits of point-of-care dispensing without a lengthy course or installation process.

We also offer extensive and live support to address any questions as fast as possible, and help you keep your inventory stocked. Through our FDA– and DEA-approved repackaged brand and generic medication, we aim to serve the needs of nearly any healthcare provider, especially urgent care clinics, worker’s comp clinics, private practices, and on-site employee health services. Contact us to learn more about how your clinic could leverage physician dispensing to improve patient satisfaction.

 

Contact Us Today for Direct Dispensing and Telehealth Services - Proficient Rx

Medication Dispensing System - Proficient Rx

5 Reasons a Medication Dispensing System Is a Must for Your Practice

Healthcare providers such as urgent care centers, private practices and physicians can all benefit from using a medication dispensing system.

The impact of COVID-19 on the healthcare sector cannot be understated, particularly for the care of patients with chronic health issues, intractable pain, or terminal illnesses.  Those affected by conditions that correlate with far greater risk of complication from COVID-19 (e.g. immunocompromised patients, patients with respiratory issues, and patients with diabetes and obesity) continue to seek ways to avoid contact with others, as per the sound advice of public health officials and international health organizations.

It’s in these times that services focusing on simplified access to critical care and medication are important, including telehealth consultations, e-prescriptions, and medication dispensing systems.  However, it’s also clear that these systems will continue to play a role in the near- and long-term future, as patients are increasingly placing value on convenience and ease of care, and greater access to medicine through the Internet and popular healthcare providers such as urgent care clinics.

In office dispensing presents an important opportunity for healthcare providers to take greater charge for the care of their patients during and after this crisis, by streamlining access to medication while providing important information, minimizing the burden on the patient to go and receive or order medication from an overloaded pharmacy system, and reduce medication errors.

Providing Opportunities for Patient Education

Medication nonadherence presents a serious and continued issue in the healthcare industry, claiming an approximate 100,000 lives per year through preventable complications and illnesses, and disproportionately affecting those struggling with chronic health issues.

Rather than placing the burden on the patient, in office dispensing gives healthcare providers the opportunity to improve medication adherence through patient education, simplified and streamlined prescription refills, and much more.

Even though face-to-face care should be minimized due to the ongoing pandemic, particularly in cases where patients are struggling with conditions that increase their risk of complications, healthcare providers can leverage virtual tools and various effective delivery services to effectively communicate with patients, explain how their medication works and how it should be utilized, provide ample time and space for questions, and digitally schedule follow-up calls and reminders.

Reducing Medication Errors

It is the pharmacist’s role to reduce medication errors, but where it’s become normal to rely on the role of the pharmacy to dispense medication, taking on some of that responsibility can help reduce the burden on overloaded pharmacies while reducing the medication errors that occur due to prescription misinterpretation, communication problems, or incorrect labeling/packaging issues (similar labels/names, etc.).

A digital system that meticulously tracks and manages medication inventory during direct dispensing can also help healthcare professionals further reduce human errors while providing medication for their patients. Better and clearer labeling through on-site patient-specific label printing and repackaged medication can also help reduce errors, and help patients clearly understand how to use their medication, thereby increasing patient safety.

Providing Greater Convenience to Patients

Perhaps the greatest case to be made for a medication dispensing system is the improved patient convenience that they afford, and by extension, everything that follows:

  • Better patient adherence
  • Improved rapport between patient and healthcare provider
  • Reduced risk of infection by minimizing the amount of individuals that are in contact with the patient’s medication, and more

The future of healthcare will increasingly lie in satisfying a patient’s needs, not just their healthcare needs, but their needs for swift and qualitative service. Patients are increasingly seeing themselves in the role of the customer and expect a level of convenience and service quality ingrained in other customer-facing industries.

Medication dispensing systems will likely play an important role in growing the relationship between a physician and their patient, helping them through a more convenient and direct access to the medication they need for their care, and simplifying healthcare by allowing a patient to go to one location and one professional for most of their medical needs.

Improving Patient Satisfaction 

Given the way healthcare is structured today, practices, hospitals, and clinics are increasingly advised to pay attention to patient satisfaction metrics and ensure that they adequately meet the needs of their clientele.

Wait times, convenience, support staff, billing, and communication are some of the most important elements of patient satisfaction, and where most patients are satisfied with the quality of their care and their physician’s bedside manner, it is these other issues that concern them the most.

By providing swift care and simplifying the process of gaining access to important medication, healthcare providers can greatly impact patient satisfaction. In office dispensing eliminates wait times for medications that patients have come to expect at pharmacies to nothing, and turn the task of filling a prescription from an errand that could take several hours, into a simple transaction that takes less than a minute.

This also greatly boosts patient retention, helping you set your practice apart from the competition while simultaneously building a stronger patient-provider relationship.

Bringing More Revenue to Your Practice

The economic impact of COVID-19 is undeniable, and any practice that can bolster a clinic’s revenue while improving patient care is a critically valuable tool in times like these.

Hospitals, private practices, urgent care providers, and worker’s compensation clinics alike can benefit from the increased flexibility and convenience afforded by a well-integrated medication dispensing system. We at Proficient Rx work with our clients to help them integrate our turn-key web-based in office dispensing system at no overhead cost.

We provide a large inventory of FDA-approved repackaged generic and branded medications, and help our clients provide critical COVID-relevant services such as curbside pickup and HIPAA-compliant HD telehealth consultations, minimizing risk and maximizing convenience.

Contact us for more information. 

 

In-Office Dispensing for Urgent Care Facilities - Proficient Rx

4 Ways Urgent Care Benefit From In-Office Dispensing

There are many ways that in-office direct dispensing can benefit urgent care facilities; here’s what to know. 

Urgent care facilities provide a critical service for Americans. Service at urgent care clinics is expedient, qualitative, and fulfills a need for quick medical care when a concern can’t wait for an appointment. While the urgent care facility does not replace the primary care clinic, or the services of a family doctor, urgent care clinics provide patients with yet another alternative to choose from, allowing them to further diversify how they engage their own healthcare issues.

The wider array of choices in medicine also signifies how the healthcare industry is moving more towards courting the customer – physicians and executives understand, more than ever, the importance of marketing their skills and providing a positive customer experience.

 

In-Office Medication Dispensing

Just as urgent care is growing, it’s important for practices to differentiate themselves from the competition. One way to do this is to incorporate a practice that acts as a natural extension of urgent care itself: point-of-care in-office medication dispensing. Point-of-care or in-office dispensing is a practice through which physicians and healthcare professionals can sell repackaged medication – from over-the-counter meds to brand and generic prescription drugs – directly to the patients they’re writing scripts for.

It was once common practice for a doctor to provide patients with the medication they need to get better, until that task was given to the pharmacist. In other countries, in-office dispensing is nothing new – but in the US, it’s a growing practice with great potential for physicians looking for an additional revenue source while further increasing the quality of their healthcare services.

 

Convenience and Competence

Surveys indicate that while patients rate the quality of their physician’s services quite highly, there is room for improvement in areas of customer care. Patients today want to be patients as well as consumers, and they seek services that offer competence and quality at affordable prices. They want convenient healthcare services that work – healthcare they can depend on, services they don’t have to wait on, and urgent care they can avail without worrying about the costs of an emergency room visit.

That’s a tall ask, but medication dispensing can help urgent care clinics move in this direction. By eliminating the need to visit a pharmacy for refills or to fulfill scripts, you’re saving your patients a lot of time and you can directly work with them to help them better understand the medication they’re taking, double-check that it’s the right drug, avoid adverse effects due to other medication they may be taking, as well as provide a comfortable and private moment to allow patients to ask any questions they might have – which can be harder to do in the public space of a pharmacy.

Furthermore, you free up your own time and that of your staff typically spent on calling ahead to confirm scripts or check that a pharmacy is stocked for your patient. More time saved is more time you can spend doing other things, whether it’s providing medical services or seeking more patients. Medication dispensing is convenient for yourself and your patients, and further makes your urgent care facility a one-stop-shop for most urgent care issues.

 

Additional Revenue

Some physicians presume that it’s expensive and overly complicated to begin stocking and selling medication – it’d be like running a pharmacy out of your own practice, right? But the truth is that repackaged medication dispensing doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing, and practices can start by buying just two weeks-worth of repackaged medication, focusing mostly on the OTC drugs and prescription medications that they prescribe most often.

It’s true that states and regulatory bodies require a strict paper trail for this stuff, and that there are licenses to pursue and uphold in some states, but companies that specialize in providing repackaged medication often also provide assistance to help practices begin dispensing as soon as possible, with no overhead costs and minimal hassle.

On the flip side, introducing medication dispensing can substantially boost revenue, even at prices that are affordable and comparable to low-cost pharmacies. While you can’t beat free, or some of the promos offered by larger grocery chains and big box stores, the convenience of being able to dispense medication right at the point of care is a big selling point for patients, who subsequently won’t have to worry about remembering to fulfill the script you’ve given them, or make the extra drive to a nearby pharmacy or drugstore.

 

Point-of-Care Dispensing is a Natural Extension of Urgent Care

It all comes back down to extending what urgent care services encapsulate: the basic selling point of an urgent care practice for many physicians is that it adds work-life balance and structure to their day-to-day, allowing them to truly disconnect from work more frequently while still providing critical lifesaving services for many patients.

The basic selling point of an urgent care practice for patients is that it fulfills the need for expedient medical care when a condition or issue isn’t vital enough to warrant a visit to the ER, but requires faster attention than a local primary care practice.

Medication dispensing therefore creates the ability to deliver quick, quality healthcare while granting immediate access to necessary medications for. Rather than adding what patients might perceive to be an additional barrier to their ideal healthcare, point-of-care dispensing provides them with the care they have come to expect, as well as added convenience they will come to appreciate.

Choosing the right partner for implementing medication dispensing is crucial. State-specific requirements and DEA administrative inspections aside, the successful implementation of point-of-care dispensing requires responsive and digitalized inventory management, integrating the dispensing system with your patients’ EMR, billing, and more. Here at Proficient Rx, our easy-to-use web-based dispensing platform is designed to help our clients get started as soon as possible, minimizing complexity, and making it easier than ever to properly organize and start dispensing medication in-office.

 

Contact Us Today for Medication Dispensing - ProficientRx

Improve Revenue With Office Dispensing - ProficientRx

Revenue from Dispensing Can Significantly Improve Profitability

Medical practices are seeing a decrease in revenue, but with the introduction of in-office dispensing, you can actually improve profitability.

The reasons for shrinking revenues in medical practices are varied, and each is as equally frustrating as the next – from increasing government regulation to declining reimbursements.

Some of this shrinking can be observed in the declining number of solo physicians, as more and more physicians are moving back into a model of being employed rather than being their own employer, and as a 2019 Medical Economics report revealed:

  • Only 22 percent of survey respondents claimed that their practice was “doing better than a year ago”
  • 52 percent who said it was doing “about the same”
  • 26 percent who “are doing worse”

Ways of improving profitability are in high demand among physicians, and medication dispensing is a particularly attractive option for several different reasons.

Economies of scale are not really something physicians can take advantage of, as they cannot effectively split themselves into several people. However, physicians can employ a variety of tactics for improving profitability, through complementary services and vertical integration. In-office medication dispensing presents a great opportunity to reduce medication non-adherence, improve reputation, ensure better patient outcomes, reduce inconvenience for patients, and create an additional revenue stream for one’s practice.

Why Consider Physician Dispensing for Your Practice? 

In-office medication dispensing is a great option for physicians throughout the country, in states where dispensing physicians are well within their right to do so. While the practice is more common in other countries, it’s been less common in the US, where medication dispensing has been largely the job of the pharmacist.

But studies have shown that patients are comfortable with, and even prefer point-of-care medication dispensing, as it is immediate and convenient. Some of the reasons that physician dispensing is a patient-centered practice include the fact that:

  • It allows them to start their treatment immediately.
  • Their doctor can keep better track of their medication and issue follow-up requests.
  • They can ask private questions in the privacy of their doctor’s office rather than the public counter of a pharmacy.
  • They can save themselves the time and money it might take to go out of their way to the nearest pharmacy at some point during the near future.

In-office dispensing also saves you the trouble of dealing with pharmacy calls for clarification, calling ahead of time to ensure that they’re adequately stocked for a specific prescription, or dealing with wait times.

Physician Dispensing and Medication Adherence

Medication adherence (or, more accurately, the lack thereof) is a serious issue accounting for an estimated 50 percent of treatment failures, 125,000 annual deaths, and a substantial portion of annual hospitalizations in the US. 30 percent of patients do not fill their prescriptions. Described as the accuracy with which a patient adheres to the medication regimen given to them by their physician, medication adherence issues can be blamed on a number of different factors, most notably including rising drug costs, forgetfulness, and inconvenience.

Anything done to tackle the issue can massively improve patient outcomes and save lives. Physician dispensing can improve adherence by helping physicians ensure that their patients get the medication they need with the right dosage, and with a full overview of the patient’s other medications and potential counterindications.

Physicians can also emphasize the importance of adhering to the medication’s instructions and help ensure that their patients fully understand and remember when and how to take their medication, and how much.

Physician Dispensing Can Boost Your Revenue in Other Ways

Physician dispensing can help you boost your practice’s reputation through:

  • Better outcomes
  • Increased efficiency
  • Increased convenience
  • Take on more patients and appointments
  • Better reputation as a practice

This leads to more patients, more revenue, and more social revenue as well. Your reputation as a healthcare practitioner is critical, and directly relevant to the longevity of your practice, as well as your legacy as a professional. While some levy criticism at medication dispensing as a practice that inspires a conflict of interest and leads to over-prescription and predatory practices, medication dispensing improves access to medication, and helps you more directly address the issue of medication adherence by identifying the barriers your patients face.

Important Questions to Consider in Physician Dispensing   

The first obstacle is logistics. To begin dispensing medication, you may have to first ensure that you’re able to do so in your state. Some states require annual fees to allow dispensing. There may be overhead involved in procuring, organizing, and managing your inventory of medication. You may have to deal with DEA audits and other unforeseen costs.

We at Proficient Rx offer such services without any overhead, allowing our clients to focus solely on the cost of the medication itself, by providing DEA and FDA-approved repackaged brand, generic, and over-the-counter medication.

With an easy-to-use web-based service, Proficient Rx can train office staff to begin managing inventory, keep track of sales and receipts, and ensure a clean and properly maintained paper trail. We help our clients stay accredited and deal with the necessary paperwork to begin implementing in-office dispensing and provide live customer support to answer every question you may have.

Point of Care Dispensing

Why You Should Consider Point of Care Dispensing

Every doctor wants happier staff, streamlined in-office tasks and better patient outcomes. When you can provide these things, you look like a super hero. You become known as the doctor who really cares about patients, the doctors that cares about staff, and as a provider for all patient needs. Point of care dispensing takes care of all of this.

Point of Care Dispensing can help you become this super hero within your community. And on top of all those benefits, you can also significantly increase your revenue.

What Is Point of Care Dispensing

Point of care dispensing is also called in-office dispensing. With an in-office dispensary, you can prescribe medicine and fill prescriptions for your patients at the point of care. Meaning, before your patient leaves your office, you can provide them with the medication they need.

In-Office dispensing gives you the opportunity to provide your patients with a value-added service. It is simply a mini-pharmacy located right there in your office.

There are different models you can opt for when setting up this system. You can choose a simpler model that allows you to fill the prescriptions. Or, you can choose a larger model that allows you to hire a pharmacist part-time or full-time, or a pharmacy technician, to fill the prescriptions.

The ability to dispense medicines in your practice offers your practice many rewards.

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.

Same Number of Patients, Increased Income

Providing ancillary services such as in-office dispensing can offer you more money without having to expand your patient case load. When others find out you provide this service, they may want to become your patients. But instead of feeling obligated to take them on to increase revenue, you will have the option to choose the patients you want to see.

Some reports claim adding an in-office dispensing program can bring between $50,000 to $200,000 extra each year. Both numbers make it worth the effort.

Other reports claim you can make up to $5 per prescription written through your point of care prescribing program. Now take the number of prescriptions you write per year and multiply that by five. That’s a significant increase.

Adding a service such as this leads you to add even more ancillary services down the road. Retail is one of the largest ancillary services that offers the greatest returns. Just like ophthalmologists sell eye glasses in their office, you can sell medical products.

There are hundreds of products to help treat multiple medical problems. Choose the products your patients need the most. Or, you can offer ancillary procedures to make more capital.

These can include surgeries, like those considered to be cosmetic, that are mostly paid for by the patient, giving you even greater profit margins.

Additional income streams can be beneficial for any medical practice. In-office dispensing is an easy to use method of creating more revenue that will increase as the years go on.

Safety is Increased for Patients

Pharmacists rarely take the time to talk to patients about drug interactions. In fact, an undercover investigation by the news show 20/20 revealed that 70 percent of the pharmacies they visited did not take the time to tell patients about potentially harmful interactions.

Prepackaged medications come complete with drug interaction information on the packaging. You can compare patient medications and print any interaction information from the software technology.

Some drugs look alike. Some drugs look identical. Pharmacists and their technicians get pills confused, causing harm to the patients who take the medications.

Prepackaged medication completely avoids this problem because the pills are separated in pouches. The manufacturer sends them to the prepackaging company, who then separates them individually.

Cross-contamination can happen. People do not realize this, but medicines can be handled by pharmacy technicians and pharmacists that can pass germs to their medicines.

Prepackaged medications prevent germs from getting onto medicines. The prepackaging companies have state of the art equipment that must pass federal and state laws surrounding cleanliness.

Your Staff Will Be Happier

The duties within your office will be streamlined and this will make your staff happy. Using a web-based portal, most point of care dispensing duties are completed for your staff. All they must do is learn the software. When it is time, they simply click a few buttons on the computer and they can complete a range of duties, from billing to dispensing to refills.

With web-based portals, your billing staff has the capability of sending claims with the simple click of a button. This is so because the software system is set up with a direct link to every insurance company’s claims submission portal.

Dispensing software is also known for its capabilities to handle workman’s compensation billing and communications. This takes a lot of work away from the staff, so they can focus on caring for the patient.

The connection between these two portals makes it easy for you, your staff, and even for the insurance company.

With in-office dispensing and web based portals, your staff can print educational information leaflets and FDA medication guides directly from the computer. Before they leave your office, you can provide them with all the information they need to understand their medication.

Considering point of care dispensing means you are ready to improve patient and staff satisfaction. It means you are ready to enjoy the rewards you have earned in your many years as a physician.

 

Disadvantages of Pharmacy Dispensing

The Disadvantages of Pharmacy Dispensing

If you ask any of your patients why they do not like going to the pharmacy, they are likely to give you an extensive list of the disadvantages of pharmacy dispensing.

Some patients may claim they do not like the time and effort it takes from when they receive the prescription to when they receive their medication. Others may report they don’t like everyone else in the pharmacy line being able to hear or see their transactions.

Patients do not ask for much when it comes to their health. They want you to help them relieve negative symptoms. They want their privacy protected. They want quick service and they want all of this at the lowest price possible.

Pharmacies do not seem to take any of these factors into consideration. Not necessarily because they are mean or don’t want to help, but pharmacists are busy. They are too busy to put the patient first. Keep reading to find out the most common disadvantages of pharmacy dispensing.

Capitalizing on Inconvenience               

Studies have shown that patients are not satisfied with pharmacies, especially chain pharmacies. Much of their dissatisfaction is due to the amount of time patients spend waiting to receive their medicine.

During this wait time patients end up spending too much money on items they do not need. Pharmacies are set up to up sell products that could be purchased for much less at the dollar store. Patients get bored, however, and to kill time they shop.

Pharmacies capitalize on the wait time of patients.

Also, the longer the time at the pharmacy, the longer a patient must wait for relief. When someone is in pain, they will do almost anything for relief, even if temporary. This includes impulse shopping.

Potential Compounding 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.

Pharmacy errors are increasing each year. Medication errors can include the following: giving the patient the wrong medication; giving the patient someone else’s medication; pharmacist authorizing the wrong dose on the medication; pharmacist or pharmacy technician contaminating the medication.

These errors happen, and they happen on a regular basis across the country.

The use of pharmaceutical technicians is also a concern. They are not trained as well to spot errors, prevent cross-contamination and keep up with the enormous demands of busy pharmacies today, which are major disadvantages of pharmacy dispensing

During a recent flu epidemic, when drug stores ran out of Tamiflu, the FDA simply posted their recipe and instructed pharmacists to recreate the formula as they need it. This tactic lead to major medical issues for patients, and even killed some.

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

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 medicine, thinking it was the right medicine. Furthermore, an overdose can happen when a patient takes too many medications.

Privacy Is Compromised

Confidentiality is a big deal to patients. If they feel their confidentiality could be or has been violated, they will be hurt and angry.

Patients do not want to ask personal questions in front of a line of people like they must do at a pharmacy. There are no confidential areas at pharmacies that provide the secrecy patients are seeking.

Even those who do choose to speak with a pharmacist are forced to whisper, and then made to feel rushed so the pharmacist can return to filling more prescriptions.

Situations like this often cause patients to avoid getting their medicine, making them out of compliance.

Compliance Is Not a Priority

Compliance is when your patient follows through with the recommended treatment plan you created. If they are recommended to take prescription medicines, then they will most likely follow your orders.

When you send a patient to a pharmacy to pick up their prescription, you do not really know if they followed through with that action. You don’t even really know if they went to the pharmacy at all. You are left to rely on the word of your patients.

Pharmacists do not have to ensure patients are compliant with their medicines. While it would be nice, and ethical, they are not required to do so. They are not even required to report their suspicions or concerns to you when they feel a patient may be abusing their medicine.

Disadvantages of Pharmacy Dispensing

It’s tempting for patients to seek advice from pharmacists. They think because they work with medications, pharmacists should know how to direct them when they have a problem.

While pharmacists can offer their opinion and yes, they are well-educated on the prescription medicines they fill, they are not the right person to recommend treatment options for patients.

Pharmacists are not trained like physicians to offer treatment options, and they would not want to risk their license in doing so. Pharmacists can, however, explain in detail the medication or treatment you have been prescribed.

For example, if a patient is prescribed an anti-depressant, pharmacists can consult with the patient on everything related to that anti-depressant. This can include side effects and what to do in case of an accidental overdose.

This same pharmacist, even if they feel the patient has been given a poor medication, cannot explain all other treatment options to a patient. They can simply refer them back to their physician which is another of the  disadvantages of pharmacy dispensing.

Other disadvantages of pharmacy dispensing include the possibility of cross contamination if medications are compounded on unclean surfaces. Or, if staff members are sick with the flu or other illnesses and are not following safe handling procedures.

Patients do not want to deal with the disadvantages of pharmacy dispensing and many more. Providing them with services such as in-office dispensing turns these disadvantages into advantages. It also turns patients into happy, satisfied and loyal customers.

When you have loyal patients, your practice will thrive.

 

In-Office Drug Dispensing

In Office Drug Dispensing: The Great Benefits

While some accounts date back to the mid-1200s, physician dispensing as we know it now was introduced in the early 1980s. This is when the Federal Drug Administration began allowing repackaging of medications which lead the way for in-office drug dispensing

Because of the extremely strict regulations, the FDA approved the physician’s ability to prescribe, fill and profit from the distribution of pharmaceuticals in-office. There are many benefits found with in-office drug dispensing.

Patients Do Not Deal with Pharmacies

Patients can sometimes wait hours for their prescription to be filled by a pharmacy. With only a couple of pharmacists on staff, one of the numerous pharmacy technicians are providing service to your patient.

If your patient has a question about his or her prescription, they wait for the pharmacist, who is already bogged down, to speak with them. While pharmacists are excellent at what they do, they just don’t have the time needed to dedicate to each customer.

Some patients do not feel comfortable asking a pharmacist for help due to the line of people waiting behind them, because they must ask their questions publicly, or because they see their pharmacist as a stranger.

On top of that, pharmacists make more mistakes when filling prescriptions under stress and an overwhelming workload.

In-office drug dispensing may prevent errors such as these.

Safety for Patients Due to Physician Control

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 training that keeps you and your staff updated on changes to laws and regulations.

Working with an in-office drug dispensing and repackaging company is the best way for you to ensure you are compliant and running your practice properly. They do most of the work, allowing you to focus on caring for your patients.

Quality Control of Medicines

In-Office drug dispensing uses repackaged medicines which 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. How often do you see pharmacists cleaning their counter tops when filling prescriptions? Germs transferred from a pharmacist’s counter to a medicine can cause adverse reactions. Plus, it is just unhealthy.

There are specific standards a repackaging company must follow when it comes to preparing bottles, multi-unit or individual unit packages. The containers must be better than the original container from the manufacturer.

Repackaging of controlled substances makes them safer for you, the physician, and for the patient. Controlled substances, and all other repackaged medicines, are coded and labeled. Meaning, they are traceable all the way back to the manufacturer.

Patients Have Immediate Access with In-Office Drug dispensing

Equipment used in helping people recovery from injuries, whether at work, at home or elsewhere, is expected to grow at an enormous rate. According to Grand View Research, the global market for durable medical equipment is expected to reach 242 billion by the year 2024.

Durable medical equipment is sometimes confused with disposable medical supplies. While both are needed and used by the elderly, ill and disabled, they are different.

The main difference is that durable medical supplies are items that help a patient care for themselves but are disposed of once used.

Durable medical equipment is prescribed for long-term use to help those in recovery from an illness or injury. In the case of the elderly, the durable medical equipment may be prescribed for an infinite amount of time.

Patients Have Access to Additional Medical Staff

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 your patients do not have to wait for an opening on your schedule if they need to be seen in emergencies or for reasons that prevent them from waiting for care.

Controlled Substance Prescriptions Are Better Managed

Controlled substances are heavily regulated. Due to the widespread patient abuse of these drugs, physicians are hesitant to prescribe controlled substances, even to the patients who need them and can benefit from them.

With in-office drug dispensing, you can have complete control over how your patients use the controlled substances you prescribe. You can prescribe one dose a day, or enough for two weeks. It will be up to you to determine the best way for your patient to receive a controlled substance.

In-office drug dispensing makes these decisions easier. It also lets you check national databases, giving you information as to whether your patient has established negative patterns in trying to obtain controlled substances.

In the end, the greatest benefit of drug treatments at the point of care is that you will develop a loyal patient database. Taking charge of total patient care shows your patients you care enough about them to want to manage their overall health.

Too many times, patients are sent two, three and even four separate locations for treatment. They go to a pharmacy for a prescription, a laboratory for blood work, and an imaging office for diagnostics. Eliminating most of these special trips will help you maintain a following of those who want to help you and your practice succeed.

 

Happier Patients - ProficientRX

In-Office Dispensing = Happier Patients

Happier patients equal long-term relationships and stable revenue for you and your practice. According to reports, there are many basic actions you can take to make your patients happier. You can make their wait time more enjoyable, or at least keep them informed on their wait time.

Happier patients want you to sit down and spend more time with them. They want you to explain their medical problems to them in a language they can understand. They want you to be the messenger, not your staff.

If a patient has a long waiting time and then gets less than ten or fifteen minutes with you, the doctor, they are not happy. Many may feel devalued and leave thinking you are only interested in making as much money as possible and that you do not really care about their health.

Yes, you do want to make as much money as possible. That is normal. But you also do have a desire to provide better care to your patients. You want them to know they are important. You want them to remain loyal, happy patients.

One way to ensure happier patients is with in-office dispensing. Keep reading to find out how dispensing medicines at the point of care can equal happier patients.

Happier Patients Gain Knowledge

Patients want to understand what is wrong with them. Too often, patients are just following your orders and do not truly understand what is going on with their own bodies. Many can’t even pronounce the prescriptions you order and struggle telling friends and family why you prescribed it.

If you are dispensing medicines to your patients, you have the perfect opportunity to provide them with worthwhile information regarding the medicine they are about to take. They can find out if the medicine you prescribed interacts with other medications.

They can also be taught when to take their medicine, how to take it and for how long. You should never assume patients are able to read the instructions and follow through.

More knowledge equals greater follow-through, which equals better health outcomes, which equals happier patients.

They Gain Time

Your patients are just as busy as you are. Yet, they take time out of their busy schedule to sit in your office and wait for help. This can be very frustrating for busy patients, especially those who do not feel well but still have many duties to complete.

The last thing they want to do is leave your office and take their prescription to a pharmacy, where they will continue to wait and wait and wait.

An in-office dispensary eliminates a lot of this wait time for your patients, even when getting refills.

If you are dispensing medicines to your patients directly, they simply call in to your office and schedule for the pickup. Because there are only your patients obtaining refills this way, there is a much less wait time involved.

Providing in-office dispensing to your patients allows them to get back to their lives and to healing much faster, making them much happier.

They Gain Privacy

Confidentiality is a big deal to patients. If they feel their confidentiality could be or has been violated, they will be hurt and angry.

Patients do not want to ask personal questions in front of a line of people like they must do at a pharmacy. There are no confidential areas at pharmacies that provide the secrecy patients are seeking.

In your office, you can offer patients security the pharmacy cannot. Patients are expected to trust their doctor and their pharmacist. Providing confidential services is one of the best ways to make sure this happens.

In your office, you can meet with them privately to discuss their prescription, educate them on their illness and the medication you are prescribing, and improving the chances that they will follow through with treatment.

When they follow through and notice better health, they will be much happier in all areas of their life.

They Lose Manipulation

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.

In-office dispensing does not focus on upselling like pharmacies do, making patients feeling good when they leave your office, not guilty for spending more than they intended. They go home happier, with just the thoughts of improving their health.

They Gain a Better Physician

The happier you are as a physician, the more satisfied your patients will be. Your patients know when you are happy in your job and when you are just going through the motions. All patients want a doctor who is excited to be practicing medicine.

In-office dispensing can make you happier by giving you more time and a lot more revenue. Some reports claim adding an in-office dispensing program can bring between $50,000 to $200,000 extra each year. Both numbers make it worth the effort.

Other reports claim you can make up to $5 per prescription written through your point of care prescribing program. Now take the number of prescriptions you write per year and multiply that by five. That’s a significant increase.

It can also streamline your office practices, making your staff happier and reducing negative feedback from staff. You can hire nurse practitioners and add additional ancillary services.

The technology used with in-office dispensing makes it easy for anyone who will be using the system. Software packages are created specifically for your office’s needs that have been shown to reduce errors in prescriptions. This can lower your stress levels because you no longer need to worry about pharmacist errors.

Patients do not feel their best, or they wouldn’t be visiting you in the first place. You can make the experience better for them. You can do many things to make them happier.