Tag Archives: medication dispensing

Medication Reconciliation - Proficient Rx

3 Examples of Medication Reconciliation Best Practices

Medication reconciliation is an important aspect of managing a medical facility. These 3 best practices can help improve efficiency of your office.

Every doctor’s office, hospital and medical facility knows, or should know, the importance of medication reconciliation in preventing adverse drug events. There is a lot that has been said and that continues to be said about the issue, but a lot of it lacks actionable advice. To that end, here are three best practices that could benefit your office.

1. Doctor and Patient Medication Reviews

Medication reviews should be a must once a year, especially with older patients, but does not happen in many places. Office managers or lead doctors should figure out ways to establish reviews that work best with their office/system. For example, is there already an official patient safety program in place that could incorporate medication reviews? What percentage of patients is tech savvy and uses email?

A mailing (or email) can go to patients’ homes with paperwork on medication for patients to bring to the next visit. It would basically comprise a list of medications, including vitamins and supplements, dosages, and so on. This approach bestows the gift of time so that patients (and/or their caregivers) are able to think and make adjustments for a few days rather than answer unexpected questions during a doctor’s appointment. It is a gift of time for busy doctors as well.

Another factor to consider is when to do the reviews. If they are at least once a year, should the general office practice be to do them every five patient visits? After every hospitalization? Should the office encourage annual physicals that include medication reviews?

Information to discuss during the reviews (and on pre-meeting mailings) needs to include:

  • A list and review of everything, with vitamins and supplements included
  • Frequency of each dosage
  • Methods of taking the medications (orally, etc.)
  • The dosage amounts
  • A discussion and printout of potential side effects and behavioral changes

Accuracy matters a lot in the answers, which is why all correspondence and discussion should explain the rationale behind the review. Statements such as, “Honesty is important here. If you haven’t been taking your medication as often as you should, or you’ve been taking it too often, please let me know. You would be far from alone, and I just want to make sure we are on the same page. No judgments.”

Offices should also have a system to track how their efforts are going. For instance, if the first-year goal is to have 35 percent of patients undergo review meetings, how many did occur? What was the patient feedback on these? Are there particular doctors who tend to skip the meetings, and what can be done to address that?

2. Medication Tracking Systems

When patients get hospitalized, are prescribed new medications and released, their primary care physicians may not always know. Likewise, upon hospitalization, a patient may not be able to immediately (or at all) supply a list of medications, method of administration, dosages and so on.

One solution to medication reconciliation is a proactive medication tracking system. Doctors’ offices can make them standard, for example, by giving patients a basic form to keep in their medical records and that they take to all appointments, meetings, hospitalizations and so on. For younger patients, an app may be easier—or even a simple email file (or file on the cloud) that lets patients make and track changes right from their smartphones. Depending on the level of tech, it is also possible for the system to sync with the doctor’s office. The tracking system should have space for a patient to note how he or she felt after a dosage change or medication change.

3. In-Office Medication System

Many medication errors—and medication reconciliation errors—occur because too many people get involved in a case. An in-office medication dispensing system enables you to dispense medication inside your office so patients don’t have to head to the pharmacy. Proficient RX offers an in-office dispensing service for a wide spectrum of medications, including antihistamines, NSAIDs, antibiotics, injectables, anti-anxiety, and muscle relaxants.

Your office gets another point of contact with the patient to increase convenience and reduce errors. Nothing gets lost in translation from the doctor to the pharmacist, and it is even possible that many of your patients would be getting all of their medications from you. All of the information would be on file.

With people living longer and babies surviving (and thriving) like they never could before, medication upon medication is a fact of life for many Americans. Medication reconciliation is even more important, and every doctor’s office should have a process for it.

Learn More about our in office dispensing services or contact us today to determine how we can best meet your needs!

Contact Us Today for In-Office Dispensing - Proficient Rx


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.


Regulations for Repackaging Medication - Proficient Rx

What Are the Sanitation Regulations for Repackaging Medication?

The FDA pharmaceutical lab safety regulations for repackaging medication are extensive, but set in place to protect patients, and you, from any negative consequences.

Sanitation regulations for repackaging medication cover many aspects of the lab and handling of pharmaceuticals. From the facility to the equipment to the staff, each must follow guidelines set forth by state and federal governmental agencies.

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) also sets forth Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) that all laboratories must follow to ensure safety when dealing with pharmaceuticals. These are the minimum requirements to pass inspection.

Hopefully, manufacturers are providing even more precautions on their own to ensure safety to the patient, which also helps protect you and your practice.

Keep reading to learn more on the sanitation regulations for repackaging medication.

Sanitation of the Facility’s Interior

Any facility that will receive, store, repackage, warehouse and handle medicines must follow specific regulations for repackaging medication. The size of the building must be constructed to be large enough, but not too large, to handle all processes of repackaging.

Every area of the facility must be clean and orderly and free of any type of infestation from rodents or insects. Waste must be properly disposed of according to regulations. It shall never be allowed to collect in any one area.

Facility owners must take into consideration that no eating or drinking takes place where medications are processed or packaged. If a staff member violates these rules, they will be reprimanded.

Each state sets forth their own guidelines on top of federal guidelines. For example, in Pennsylvania and many other states, it is a requirement that the area in which repackaging takes place shall only contain appliances, equipment and supplies that are necessary for the process, and nothing more.

Sanitation of Construction and Grounds

Construction materials are determined by regulations and there is a lengthy list of requirements. Concrete walls, plaster and paint, flooring resistant to chemicals, and suspended ceilings are just a few examples of the requirements. Lighting, ventilation, plumbing, and sanitation regulations for repackaging medication can bring consequences if the regulations are not correctly followed.

Proper maintenance of the exterior of the facility are just as important as the interior. The grounds must be cared for so that insects and rodents do not breed and find housing near the facility. Storage of pallets and trash must be done properly to avoid attracting animals of any kind.

Staff need to be trained in how to handle pest control. Meaning, they must consider any chemicals they choose to use to prevent or get rid of pests. These chemicals can interfere with the repackaging process if not used according to regulations for repackaging medication.

Quarantine Regulations

All repackaging facilities must have an area designated for quarantine of medicines that are damaged, outdated, or contaminated in any way. Their disposal process must also be strictly adhered to so cross-contamination is avoided.

Quarantine of original packaging materials and secondary containers that are no longer useful, as well as any misbranded pharmaceuticals, must be disposed of according to the law.

Sanitation of Employees

One staff member could disrupt an entire process and create violations if they are not on board with understanding the importance of following regulations for repackaging medication.

Training is provided to all staff, no matter what their duties. They are trained in how to keep the facility clean, how to properly handle and dispose of contaminated medication, and how to report errors in the manufacturing process.

Trained supervisors are responsible for making sure the rest of the staff follow guidelines. This includes making cleanliness of the facility and the staff a top priority. Staff must learn how to wash hands properly to dealing with their own illnesses such as the flu, learning when to call off sick.

Sanitation Regulations For Repackaging Medication Materials

There are numerous codes to be met when it comes to repackaging materials. From labeling to temperature, package materials must comply or not be used at all.

Companies use the best materials to protect drugs while also keeping the cost reduced. They ensure both primary and secondary packaging meets the standards set forth by governmental agencies.

Blister packs are typically used for whole, solid medicines. They are pre-formed by a machine. Blister packs can hold medicines such as pills, gel caps and suppositories. They work well in a variety of temperatures and are tamper proof and very hard to destroy.

Blister packs protect medicines from interacting with any environmental contamination. Plus, they are quite durable and safe.

Bottle forms are often used for liquid medicines. However, they can also be used for pill or gel forms. Glass bottles are mostly used for holding liquids. The glass provides extra security and protection.

Plastic bottles are most commonly used for pill forms of medicine, and sometimes powders. The reason most plastic bottles have an orange or brown tint is because those protect medicines from sun damage, or ultra violet light getting into the bottle and ruining the pills.

Clean Rooms

Clean rooms help provide this healthy environment during the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals. Clean rooms focus on the air in the facility where drugs are manufactured. If the air is clean, everything else in the facility will be cleaner.

A clean room is defined as the space used to contain an area that needs to be free of particles that could potentially contaminate a product. They are also used to control temperature and pressure.

For repackaging medication, temperature, humidity and air pressure are all crucial factors and must be heavily monitored. Using a clean room is essential. If you find the repackaging company you work with is not using a clean room, it is time to switch to one who does.

Your patients can be affected by any type of facility contamination, even it is with the smallest particles. Therefore, repackaging companies take extra steps to follow classification guidelines. Clean rooms help companies remain compliant with Good Manufacturing Practices.

They certify everything from the staff to construction. Clean rooms offer that extra security that gives you the confidence you need to supply your patients with quality medicine.


Prepackaged Medication Convenience | Proficient Rx

Convenience of Prepackaged Medication

The use of care givers is on the rise. They have a range of responsibilities including grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking and helping patients with medication. It’s this last duty that Prepackaged medication can be a huge convenience.

Your patients deserve quality care and the best form of medications available. Prepackaged medications offer both your patient and their caregivers the best in quality, ease of administration, and less room for error.

Prepackaged medication makes it easier for care givers to keep your patients compliant, improving their overall health, and helping them be successful in reaching treatment goals.Prepackaged medications provide a higher safety level for care givers and makes administering medication simpler.

Saving the care giver and patient time may be the best convenience offered by prepackaged medication.

These conveniences are discussed in more detail below.

Administering Convenience

With Prepackaged medications, the caregiver can simply separate the individual doses from the rest of the package, open it and administer it to the patient. The caregiver does not have to worry about overdose or under-dose issues because it is easy to track.

The caregiver never has to guess whether medication has already been taken. They can simply use the easy to track counting calendar on the prepackaged medicines. This is also helpful when more than one caregiver is tending to a patient.

It is common that caregivers work in shifts for patients who have extensive medical needs. Prepackaged medication makes it simple for everyone involved in the care of a patient to know exactly how much medication has been administered and when.

Each caregiver can easily monitor patient medication, avoiding errors that can happen when the caregivers are unable to communicate with each other in detail between shifts.

Safety Convenience

As a physician, you want to ensure your patients safety at all levels. Many times, this means you are working with care givers, educating them how to be more careful with patient care. This includes teaching caregivers how to avoid medication errors.

By filling prescriptions within your office, your patients can worry less about pharmacist errors and more about getting well. Pharmacists make mistakes, not on purpose, but it does happen. Prepackaged medicines prevent many of the errors caused by pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

From misreading prescriptions, cross-contamination or giving the wrong dose, pharmacy errors can be fatal. Another concern is the safety of the container. If the wrong person can get into a medicine package, it could result in negative consequences for the patient.

Medication safety is also important, from how it is stored to its container.

Caregivers can choose Prepackaged medication storage that is easy for them to use but still safe from tampering. Prepackaging companies are experts in containers and the standards set forth for protecting medicine. They follow strict quality control regulations.

All of this means the children and young family members of your patients will not be able to open medication containers that may be left lying around the house. These containers passing quality control procedures make it safer for everyone.

Prepackaged medication allows care givers to feel more confident in administering medicine to their client.

Time Convenience

Prepackaged medications can be dispensed by you at the point of care. This can save both the care provider, the patient and you, substantial amounts of time because you no longer must deal with pharmacies.

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. It saves the care giver time, as they do not need to go to the pharmacy and wait.

Dispensing in-office allows the care provider to retrieve the patient’s medication upon checkout. Therefore, they can spend more time caring for your patient and less time waiting in lines.

Labeling Convenience

Correct labeling is important in all medication production, especially prepackaged. The label, even though small, contains a large amount of information that can help a caregiver provide adequate and proper healthcare. Prepackaging facilities know just how vital this information can be.

Name of the physician, brand name of the drug, and patient name are three pieces of information on a label. Other pieces include drug expiration date, safety warnings such as “may cause drowsiness”, and instructions on how to take the medicine.

Some medicines need to be taken with food, while others need to be taken on an empty stomach. Having these instructions available can determine the effectiveness of the medicine. Because patients with caregivers may not be able to remember the necessary elements of the medicinal instructions, being able to use the label as a guide is imperative.

Labels will also note if refills are available and if so, how many. It will have contact information for the doctor and an account number or serial number that can be traced back to the prescription ordered. Labels make it easy for the caregiver to keep the patient on track with their treatment goals.

Compliance Convenience

Compliance is when your patient follows through with the recommended treatment plan you created. Patient health goals are more easily met when caregivers can use prepackaged medications in their routine. Together, you and the caregiver can monitor the patient’s intake and measure their outcomes.

Caregivers are motivated to help patients reach health goals. They like to be able to show progress to the physician.

Because you are prescribing prepackaged medicines in your office, you can educate the caregiver. Education is an essential key to helping the patient remain compliant in their treatment.

For instance, you can explain to the caregiver why you are prescribing certain medications, how they help the patient, normal and abnormal side effects to look out for, possible interactions, and the best way to consume the medication.

You can also ask for feedback from the caregiver and give them the chance to express any concerns they may have. Because you are sharing responsibility for the care of your patient, it is imperative the caregiver is on board with your treatment goals. This sets all of you up for success.




Medical Dispensing | Proficient Rx

The History of Medical Dispensing

Medical dispensing refers to the ancillary service of a physician prescribing and filling medication orders at the point of care. Meaning, physicians can give patients their prescriptions before they even leave the office.

Medical dispensing saves patients time and is a great convenience for not only the patient, but for you and your staff.

Medical dispensing is relatively a new process. While pharmacies have been around for centuries, physician dispensing is now gaining popularity and taking the place of pharmacies around the world.

Medical Dispensing Origins

The first pharmacy was established by King James 1 in the 17th Century. This set the tone for how pharmacists and medical professionals would operate from then on.

If a person needed to visit what was then called an apothecary, they would be greeted by a staff member and the medicinal expert at the apothecary would create a product to help heal the patient.

As time went on, the patient would visit a medical professional who would then recommend a treatment for the patient. Up until 1951, pharmacists were prescribed medications, except narcotics, themselves.

But with the passing of the Durham-Humphrey Amendment to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, pharmacists were required to have a prescription from a physician. After obtaining a prescription, the patient would consult a pharmacist to obtain the recommended medication.

Pharmacists, in the 1980’s, however, were tasked with educating and consulting the patient about their medication. This was set forth in the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act. This placed a very important part of the prescribing process on the pharmacist.

Unfortunately, not all pharmacists go the extra mile to ensure patients are educated.

To be completely sure patients receive the best treatment and education, many physicians are choosing to dispense medications at the point of care. This is what is considered modern medical dispensing.

Medical Dispensing Now

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.

Because of the extremely strict regulations repackaging companies must follow, the FDA approved the physician’s ability to prescribe, fill and profit from the distribution of pharmaceuticals in-office.

Repackaging makes your job easy. It also allows you to feel confident your patients’ medicines are protected from cross-contamination or any other errors that regularly take place within pharmacies.

Repackaging Regulations

Repackaged medication simply means a medication is taken from its original packaging that comes straight from the manufacturer, and placed into a smaller, safer and simpler type of packaging. Repackaged medications are often separated into individual doses, making it easy for the patient to keep on track with their medication schedule.

Repackaging steps include environmental testing, labeling, securing controlled substances, and keeping good records throughout the process.

Medicines must be tested at this point to ensure they are of the same quality as they were when created at the manufacturing facility.

Records must include the date of repackaging, prescription name, physician who will be dispensing the medicine, and drug name. The strength of the drug must be listed, as well as the quantity.  These steps must be verified and signed by an authority figure in the repackaging company.

Keeping good records is required. Repackaging companies must keep quality records for at least one year after the date of being repackaged. This process allows all medicines, including controlled substances, to be traced and identified when needed.

Introduction of Electronic Prescribing

When computers began gaining popularity and were made accessible for everyone, pharmacies and doctors were able to take advantage of computerized benefits also. Meaning, medications could be ordered and prescribed online.

This eliminated hand-writing every prescription, cut down on typographical errors and misunderstandings between pharmacists and doctors. Electronic prescribing also created the ability for doctors to prescribe directly to the patient, at the point of care.

General guidelines have been established to ensure patient safety and doctor protection. For instance, the patient’s name, address, date of birth must be printed on labels used with electronic prescriptions. The doctor’s contact information must also be made available on the label.

Furthermore, the label must include dosage and how to consume the dose, strength and preparation, if any.

In-office dispensing software can prevent errors with medicine.

The Process of Medical Dispensing

Today, physicians who dispense medications at the point of care meet with the patient to determine if medication is needed to help them resolve an issue. If they can benefit from medication, the physician can then simply enter the medical information into the dispensing software. The next step is to print the label, adhere the label to the medicine package and distribute to the patient.

Even filling refill prescriptions becomes much easier for you, and using the dispensing software, helps remind your patients when they are due for a refill.

It really is that simple. However, 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.

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.

Working with an in-office dispensing 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.

Medical dispensing offers many benefits. One of the most important is that it gives you the ability to track compliance. You have measurable techniques at your finger tips to see whether patients are sticking to their treatment plan and therefore, reaching their treatment goals.

Improving patient health outcomes is the goal of physicians. With the arrival and progression of medical dispensing, that goal is more attainable.



Medication In Office | Proficient Rx

Having Medication in Office is the Future of Dispensing

Physicians are beginning to recognize the benefits of having medication in office. They are realizing they can make more money with little extra work and provide better care to patients. Physician dispensing is seeing a huge increase in the number of doctors implementing these practices.

Having medication in office to dispense to patients is the future of dispensing. Keep reading to discover some of these reasons, all of which benefit you, staff, and the patient.

Doctors Want Ancillary Income

Everyone thinks doctors are immediately wealthy. You know this is not the truth. Some doctors have student loan debt, while others are supporting a family. Some physicians are both paying off debt and have a family.

On top of that, doctors have additional bills that many citizens do not consider when they generalize that all doctors are wealthy. You have employees to pay, insurance costs, and mortgage fees. And those are just for your office.

Physician dispensing and having medication in office is a way for all doctors to bring in more money without having to do more work. In fact, most of the services can be done by your staff. It costs little money to set up but has a great return on your investment.

Doctors Want Better Outcomes Measurement

Somewhere along the way, the ability to track your patients’ health outcomes has become more difficult. Not because you haven’t tried, but some of your patients aren’t the best at maintaining the treatment plan you created with them.

Some patients visit several different doctors for the same medical concerns. Yet they fail to tell you they are doing so. Other patients feel they know the best way to take their medications, which may not be as prescribed by you.

With medication in office you see just how well your patients are doing when it comes to following their care plan. You can track their progress and learn exactly why they are or are not meeting positive health goals.

Doctors Don’t Want to Have to Deal with The Pharmacy

It seems like pharmacists have prescription issues when you are at your busiest time of the day. They don’t know this, of course, and they certainly don’t want to bother you. But it happens.

When you have medication in office, you will no longer need to communicate with a pharmacy because all your prescriptions can be filled right there in your office, by you and your staff.

With in-office dispensing software, your staff can fill a prescription with medication in office in less than ten minutes, accurately and safely. You can consult your patient in-person to ensure they receive education on their medicine. And refills are prepared with a few simple clicks on the computer.

Medication In Office Can Help Avoid Medication Errors

You can read your own hand writing so there won’t be any pharmacy related errors when you keep medication in office. It’s true that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians have made errors when filling prescriptions. They have mistaken one drug for another simply because they are similarly spelled.

They have accidentally cause cross-contamination due to unclean sorting practices. They have even given the wrong dose, and the wrong prescription to the wrong patient. Errors such as these can be fatal, can set you up for a lawsuit, or both.

You can avoid all these errors by filling your own prescriptions.

Doctors Want to Better Manage Controlled Substance Prescriptions

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 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.

Too often, patients get a thirty-day supply. Some abuse this by taking too many in less than thirty days. This creates a cycle where the patient calls for early refills and you are faced with allowing your patient to experience pain or prescribing more.

Medication in office 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.

Doctors Want Their Patients to Be Happy and Loyal

Dispensing at the point of care saves your patient a great deal of time and effort. They can obtain their medication in office before they leave. Meaning, they can receive immediate relief for their pain.

If they need a cane or walker, you can provide that to them on site. If you are prescribing a medication for relief of negative symptoms, your patients no longer must wait hours for the pharmacist to fill their prescription. They can get their first dose at your office, and possibly administered by you, so you can educate them on how to properly take a dose.

Happy patients are those who are shown respect, especially when it comes to their confidentiality. At the pharmacy, there is little effort made to protect the confidentiality of your patients. Even at the bigger chain pharmacies, only a small window is provided for communicating with the pharmacist.

Everyone else waiting in line can still see and hear what your patients are discussing with the pharmacist. Most of the time, patients refuse communications with pharmacists to avoid embarrassment.

When your patients are happy, they are loyal. They tell all their family and friends how great you are, allowing your practice to never need patients. The more patients you gain, the more money-making opportunities will come your way.

With more patients, you can hire nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Additional staff like this means your office can see twice the number of patients, at a higher fee, giving you more profits.

In-office dispensing is becoming popular due to the many advantages it offers physicians. It is easy to see why having medication in-office is the future of dispensing.



Medication Dispensing Software | Proficient Rx

What to Look for in Medication Dispensing Software

If you are a physician dispensing medication at the point of care, then you are most likely in need of a medication dispensing software program to help you make the process easier. And good software programs do just that, simplify processes so you can focus more on patient care, not the many tasks involved with dispensing.

So, how do you choose the best medication dispensing software program for your business? This question is asked around the country by physicians just like you.

The good news is that there are several key characteristics to look for when shopping for the right medication dispensing software. Descriptions of these characteristics are provided below.

It’s Easy

This may sound like a no-brainer, but when you are implementing a new system, it needs to be easy enough for both you and your staff to learn and utilize. There are staff members who will adapt to the new software with ease. There are others who may find it more difficult.

A good medication dispensing software program will be able to help both types of staff members. It will allow the tech savvy staff to engage and adapt quickly, while providing needed instruction and tutorials for the not-so-tech savvy.

You do not want a staff member feeling inadequate using a software program. The software itself should be encouraging to inexperienced users. It is unrealistic to think all staff will jump right in and be able to conquer the new software soon after it is installed.

However, if the programs within the medication dispensing software are simple to navigate, and education is provided in a positive way, it will not take long for everyone to be on the same page.

Helps You Educate

Patients rely on your expertise to teach them how to take their medications and why knowing this is important. Sometimes at the point of care patients are not fulling listening to your instructions. They may feel overwhelmed or rushed to get to the rest of their day.

Good software programs provide you and your patients with extensive, yet easy to understand, information about their illness or injury, and about the medication you are prescribing.


Keeping patient information confidential is not only important, it’s the law. A good medication dispensing software program will have features that protect your patients and your practice.

No more charts laying around on staff desks, no more papers needing to be shredded and no more worrying about sticking the wrong patient information into someone else’s chart.

The medication dispensing software program for you stores and backs up patient information. Security features alert you to any suspicious behaviors online. And while patient information is easily accessible, it remains safe from online thieves.

Medication Dispensing Software Support

There are no perfect computer software programs. At some point, you will need to contact the developer for advice.

Technical support should be available to you around the clock. That means at 4a.m. when you go into the office early to get a head start on the day’s work, you can contact a support tech for help if you experience problems with the software.

In addition, the tech you work with at 4a.m. is friendly, helpful and eager to help you fix your medication dispensing software issues.

Batch Reports

As you know, physicians need to run reports. You run reports on each of your patients to make sure they are compliant. You run reports on your finances to make sure your business is profitable. You run reports on the medications you prescribe, to make sure you are fully stocked and can provide full care to patients.

All these reports will help you remain compliant with State and Federal regulations.

In-office dispensing software can help you stay in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations. Each State has specific rules for physicians to follow to dispense medicines in-office to patients.

In addition, the Pharmacy Boards in each State also has requirements each physician must meet.

A web based portal keeps all your records, all patient data and stores it in an organized and easily accessible format. All reports and information needed for compliance reports can be quickly retrieved and submitted.

Reasonable Cost of Medication Dispensing Software

The ancillary service of in-office dispensing will bring in a lot of extra revenue for you. That is, if you don’t blow it on the most expensive software program.

Yes, you want the best medication dispensing software program. But that does not always mean the most expensive software program.

Finding a company who can meet all your needs at a fair price is doable. In fact, it is very doable, and you know that a company who is not trying to upsell, resell or cross-sell you all the time with software additions to their web based dispensing platform, is one who can be trusted.

Easy Claims Submission

Dealing with insurance companies can be frustrating. A good software program will make this process easier, not more difficult. The software should include simple and efficient steps to submitting a claim on behalf of a patient.

Your staff should have few steps to take to submit a patient’s records. They should also be able to avoid medical errors that happen due to human error. Entering data on the patient should be quick and easy.

Once the data is entered, pre-set contacts with insurance companies should be easily accessed. Meaning, your staff should be able to submit a claim directly to the claims department of the patient’s insurance company.

They should be able to do this with just the click of a few buttons.

Choosing the right medication dispensing software is one of the more important decisions you will make regarding point of care dispensing. Not only do you have to consider the needs of your practice and your staff, you must also consider the needs of your patients.

Dispensing medicine in-office provides many benefits: saves time for patients, increases your revenue, and streamlines all office practices. You need a software program that matches and exceeds those benefits.

Using these guidelines will help you determine which medication dispensing software meets your needs the best.

repackaged medicine | Proficient Rx

How is Repackaged Medicine a Benefit for Care Providers and Patients?

When one of your patients is getting help from a care provider, you want to do your part to ensure your patient gets the right medication, at the right time, and at the right dose through repackaged medicine.

Because care providers have many duties, any help you can provide to make their job easier is a plus.

Definition of a Care Provider?

Care givers can be family members who take care of their loved ones who may be sick or disabled. Care givers may also be paid helpers who have training in this field. Care givers are not just nurses or therapists.

The use of care givers is on the rise. They have a range of responsibilities including grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking and helping patients with medication. It’s this last duty that repackaged medicine can be a huge advantage.

Repackaged Medicine Can Be Dispensed at Point of Care

Repackaged medicine can be dispensed by you at the point of care. This can save both the care provider, the patient, and you substantial amounts of time because you no longer must deal with pharmacies.

It can take an additional two or more hours when a care provider must travel to the pharmacy and wait, and wait, and wait.

Dispensing in-office allows the care provider to retrieve the patient’s medication upon checkout. Providing this service can also mean increased revenue for your practice.

Easy Administration of Drugs

Repackaged medicine come in containers that separate the medication and label them, so the care giver can simply choose the medication that matches the date for administration.

For instance, if the packaging labels the pills according to the day of the week, the caregiver simply must pop out the medicine that coincides with the day. If a pill is labeled “Monday”, then the care giver will give that pill to the patient on Monday.

Care givers can easily see if patients have missed any doses or if they have taken too many while not in their care. In this way, repackaged medicine can prevent issues with care givers making mistakes with medication.

Avoid Overdosing and Under-dosing

Overdosing means a patient has taken too much of their medication, causing reactions such as seizures or vomiting. Overdosing can also lead to death.

Overdoses often happen due to patients forgetting whether they have taken their medication for the day. When they forget, they often take the medication twice, just to be sure they don’t miss a dose. This action creates an overdose.

Unfortunately, overdoses are more common than they need to be.

Repackaged medicine helps caregivers and patients know exactly how many pills they have taken and when they took them due to the elevated level of labeling capabilities.

Under-dosing, or not taking their medication enough, can also have negative effects. If a person is prescribed blood thinners but does not take them on a regular basis, they are at a higher risk for fatality if they were in a situation that caused them to bleed a lot.

Patients who have care givers are likely to experience falls or minor accidents. If not taking repackaged medicine properly, accidents can turn into unexpected deaths.

Patient Compliance

Repackaged medicine can help ensure patients are taking their medications correctly. It makes it easy for care givers to dispense and they don’t have to spend time sorting and counting pills to make sure your patient is on schedule.

Patients start showing signs of getting healthier. They report feeling better and being able to participate more actively in daily activities.

You are meeting your goals as a physician when your patient outcomes increase. You too can feel good about the way you practice medicine. How healthy your patients become partially depends on how well you do your job.

Caregivers can give you accurate reports on patient compliance and discuss with you any struggles they may be having. This helps because patients aren’t always truthful. Not because they aren’t honest, but sometimes they just don’t remember.

No Medication Errors

Repackaged medicine is created in a facility that undergoes strict quality control processes. The guidelines they follow must pass federal regulations. This means companies have specific steps they must abide when repackaging.

The environment of the facility is cleaner than any pharmacy. They are held to stricter guidelines than pharmacies. The equipment used to repackage is state of the art, as well as the security protecting the products.

Pharmacy technician are busy all day long processing prescription orders. They do not have the extensive training a pharmacist has and sometimes this becomes evident.They make errors.

Occasionally, technicians mistake one medicine for another that is similar in appearance. Or, they fill the wrong dose. Some have even given patients the medication that is supposed to go to a different patient.

Repackaging medicine prevents errors in the process.

Better Education

Care givers need knowledge on the repackaged medicine they are administering to patients. They need to know what to expect if the patient has a negative reaction. They need to know signs and symptoms for a possible drug interaction.

Care givers are given much better medication education with repackaged medicine than by traditional methods.

Consulting with the doctor directly is one of the best educational benefits. Pharmacists are busy. Patients and care givers know this and are reluctant to ask questions at the pharmacy.

At the point of care, however, care givers feel more comfortable, less rushed and like privacy is important. They are more likely to ask questions imperative to the correct treatment of your patient.

Educational material with repackaged medications offers information on the origin of the medicine, what it is used to treat, how to administer it, who to call for more information and your contact information and instructions.

Your patients deserve quality care and the best form of medications available. Repackaged medications offer both your patient and their caregivers the best in quality, ease of administration, and less room for error.

Repackaged medicine makes it easier for care givers to keep your patients compliant, improving their overall health, and helping them be successful in reaching treatment goals.

Most of all, they show your patient they are important enough to receive the very best.








Brand Name vs. Generic Drugs | Proficient Rx

Is There a Real Difference Between Brand Name and Generic Drugs?

A drug is any therapeutic agent, other than food, used to treat a physiological condition. Prescribing drugs to patients is quite common and no matter what the issue, there seems to be a medicine available for treatment in either the form of brand name or generic drugs.

A drug has three names including its chemical name, brand name and generic name. There are five steps a drug must go through to be approved for sale and consumption.

It must be submitted to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) as a new chemical entity. Then it must apply for a patent. Following this a generic and brand name version are created. The FDA then reviews it and approves or rejects the new drug.

When writing a prescription, you choose either brand name or generic versions of a drug.

Currently, generic drugs account for close to 90 percent of prescribed drugs. This saves your patients and insurance companies billions of dollars.

Many of your patients have questions about the differences between generic medicines and brand name medicines. Because patients are not aware of the pharmaceutical values within both generic and name brand medicines, it is your job to provide them an answer to their question.

Knowing the differences, between generic drugs and brand name drugs will help you explain them to your patients. Below are similarities and differences between the two.

Active Ingredients

The Federal Drug Administration requires both generic drugs and brand name medicines have the exact same active ingredients.  Active ingredients are biologically active. They are also known as bulk actives, active substances or active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Inactive Ingredients

The FDA does not require brand name and generic drugs to have the same inactive ingredients. These do not change the affect of the medicine or the active ingredients. They may be known as filler agents.

Inactive ingredients are important even though they do not produce any therapeutic effects. They are considered fillers, binders or coating. They can also be flavoring, coloring or stabilizers.


Strength is the amount of the active ingredient in each dose of the medicine. Federal law requires both generic and brand name medicines to be comparable in strength. Meaning, per dose, they have the same amount of active ingredients.

For instance, if each Tylenol pill has 500mg, all generic versions of Tylenol must have 500mg of strength.


The effect of a drug refers to the change created when the medicine is taken. The effect produces a result in the patient.

The FDA requires that generic drugs produce the exact same effects as the brand name drug. Meaning, it must be comparable in results the patient will see when taking the medicine. Side effects may also be comparable.


Both generic drugs and brand name medicines must undergo and pass the same testing methods.

Clinical trials are performed in which the FDA oversees every step. The clinical trials involve humans taking a medication to see if it is safe and effective. There are usually three phases of testing.

If the medicine proves to have more benefits than side effects or negative reactions, it is approved for sale and consumption.

How You Take It

Generic drugs and brand medicines must be available in the same forms for consumption as brand name drugs. Meaning, if a brand name medicine is created in liquid form, so must the generic brand. If pill form is how a brand name drug is created, the generic version must also be in pill form.

Typical ways of taking a medicine include orally, inhalation, liquid, tinctures and by injection.


Prepackaged medications provide the safest form of distribution. Many doctors and pharmacies are choosing prepackaged medications due to the precise labeling and ease of use. Those who are not using prepackaged medications may notice differences between generic and name brand packaging.

The labeling, however, must be the same. This includes warning labels. However, only brand name medicines are required to update their warning labels each time a new risk or side effect is discovered.

Expiration Dates

Expiration dates can be misleading. An expiration date does not mean the drug is no longer any good after that date. It simply means that is the date a manufacturer can guarantee the full benefits of the medicine.

Even though a medicine has an expiration date, it can sometimes still be effective for months, even years, after that date.

According to the FDA, generic and name brand drugs can have different expiration dates. However, both drugs are required to be effective up until that expiration date.

This means a brand name can expire in one year and a generic version of the same medicine can expire in six months. But both must provide quality effectiveness until these dates arrive.

Price of Generic Drugs Vs. Brand Name

Brand name medicines are required to go through multiple and repeat studies on both animals and humans. This gets very expensive for the manufacturing companies. Therefore, the cost of a brand name medicine is much higher than that of a generic brand.

On top of this, the brand name manufacturers spend millions of dollars in production.

Generic drugs are not required to be involved in repeat studies or testing. This allows them to keep costs low.

Price differences between generic and brand name drugs can be massive. Brand names can range from 25 to 75 percent higher than generic brands. Therefore, insurance companies often require patients to use generic versions of a drug.

Take the time to explain these differences to your patients. When patients do not understand something about their healthcare, rather than ask questions, they may decide to just stop taking the medicine.

Especially when it comes to paying higher prices for medicine, patient choose to forego their medicine. If there is no generic version, explain to your patient the necessity of the medicine for their health.

Prepackaged medication allows for ordering only the number of pills your patient needs and no more. This may help your patient continue their medicine even if the cost is higher. Do what you can to help them improve their health. Sometimes a little bit of knowledge can go a long way in helping you reach that goal.


medication quality control | Proficient Rx

The Importance of Medication Quality Control

The quality of a product, especially in the pharmaceutical industry, should be taken into consideration from the moment it is created until the expiration date. Quality should not end as soon as the product leaves the manufacturer or as soon as it reaches the patient. This makes medication quality control an important factor to consider when deciding where to get your medications from.

Quality needs to be analyzed at all levels. From the initial combination of ingredients, compounding, sorting, packaging, shipping, distributing and even consuming are steps covered through quality control procedures.

What is Medication Quality Control?

When a company does everything it can to make sure a product or drug is in top quality condition, they are practicing medication quality control.  They put the drug through processes and experiments to make sure errors are non-existent.

Both manufacturers and packagers take extra steps to maintain this quality with each drug, making consistency a reality within a drug class.

Medication quality control involves all the actions a company takes to make sure medicines are pure, safe and compliant with all laws and regulations.

Medication quality control is important for many reasons. Keep reading to find out why quality control is a must when providing medicine for your patients.

Medication Quality Assurance

Medication quality control and quality assurance are different, yet both are necessary when it comes to manufacturing and supplying medications.

Quality assurance includes the processes and procedures that are implemented to assess the operations associated with the production of a medicine.

No Counterfeits

The Federal Drug Administration defines a counterfeit drug as one that is sold as a product without proper authorization.

Statistics on counterfeit drugs are alarming.

Internet sales of counterfeit drugs are around $75 billion. These counterfeit drugs have either the wrong ingredients or wrong amounts of the ingredients, making them dangerous for patients. It has been reported that around 80 percent of counterfeit drugs consumed in the United States come from overseas.

Drugs should be registered to avoid counterfeiting. Registering drugs makes it many times harder for counterfeit criminals to manufacture and deal the product.

Inspectors who participate in extensive training can identify counterfeit pharmaceuticals. They can then file the right complaints or assist in taking legal actions against the counterfeit criminals.

Safety for Patients

The World Health Organization has a prequalification process that can assess the safety and quality of medicines. They make sure medicines meet appropriate standards. They also have the capability of evaluating and prequalifying ingredients used to make pharmaceuticals in order to increase medication quality control.

Reduce Liability

Medical malpractice lawsuits happen every day, even when the physician has a great reputation. There are eager people who want to file negligence claims against physicians, even when the doctor has done everything right.

If patients are given medicines that have the wrong ingredients, serious health hazards could occur. This could lead to malpractice or liability issues for your practice. The drug manufacturer could also be held responsible. Therefore many, including prepackaged companies, take extra steps to ensure medication quality control.

To avoid any liability such as this, make sure the packaging company you choose to work with values quality control processes. Good packaging companies will be excited to tell you all the safety tests they have passed as part of their medication quality control process. They will want you to know they strive for perfection in every area, from sorting to labeling to shipping.

Customer/ Patient Loyalty

If your patients are consistently given products that are proven to be top quality, they will want to continue with you as their provider. Patients do not want to have to switch physicians. They seek long-term relationships with service providers.

As a physician, you seek loyal customers who will support your practice for many years. One of the main ways to keep patients on your roster is to provide them with the best medicines.

Patients want to feel better, quickly. Supplying them with medicines that have undergone strict medication quality control assessments and passed according to quality standards will show your patients you care about their health.

You can feel proud to explain to patients the amount of inspection and confirmation of quality the medicine you are prescribing undergoes. This will help your patients feel secure. They trust you. You want to be able to honor their trust.

In return, patients will remain loyal while also recommending you to others, growing your client list.

It is important for you, as a physician, to double and triple check the medication quality control processes associated with the medicines you prescribe. Find out for yourself if the company is reputable and if it values quality. You owe it to your patients to make sure they receive the best product available.