In-office dispensing of medications to patients is a hot topic and many are discovering the advantages of this service. Both doctors and patients are recognizing that point of care services result in overall better healthcare.
In-office dispensing is defined simply as providing both pharmacy and physician services at the point of care. Meaning, your patients can have all of their needs met at once, during their visit with you. And with the advanced technology provided with in-office dispensing programs, your work load will decrease, your staff will be more satisfied and your income will increase.
Below are even more reasons to start in-office dispensing today.
Manage Revenue Streams More Efficiently
In-office dispensing has proven to be a great source of additional income for physicians. It can bring thousands of extra dollars a month with little extra work from you and your staff. The technology supporting dispensing practices is like having numerous extra staff working on your behalf.
The system is set up to streamline claims and billing functions directly with insurance companies. It also automatically sends out invoices and processes fees and payments with just the click of a button.
It also streamlines pricing, reimbursements, co-payments and any other payment needs. This type of automation doesn’t just stop here.
Wouldn’t you love to reduce the amount of unnecessary work your staff must perform? Now you can. In-office dispensing programs provide prepackaged medicines so there is no compounding necessary in your office.
Ordering and receiving of medications is automated, and they arrive with barcode information and safety measures such as blister packs with calendar directions telling patients when to take the medication.
Dispensing technology also allows staff to track everything related to the patient care, from refill management, patient outcomes, potentially dangerous interactions, and treatment progress. This type of data helps you provide better communication, education and marketing.
Better Education and Awareness
Telling your patients how to use their medication properly is one thing. Being able to show them how to use it in person ensures they are properly educated and can prevent harmful mistakes. In-office dispensing allows you the opportunity to provide important information to patients, something pharmacies rarely do.
Too often, patients claim to understand why they are prescribed a medicine and what to expect. This happens because patients do not always know the right questions to ask you. They don’t know to ask about side effects, interaction possibilities or even best time of day to take their medicine.
It’s up to you to provide answers to patients to questions they didn’t even know to ask. Be proactive in your educational efforts. It is so easy with in-office dispensing because the software allows you to print simple, easy to understand information on each medicine you prescribe.
When you have this much access to research, facts and data, you can use this information in your marketing plans. Provide the community with information will make you the expert they want to work with when they have a problem.
In-office dispensing not only helps with educating patients, it can help prevent medication errors, which are known to be fatal in some instances.
Reduce Medication Errors
In-office dispensing programs provide a format that screens the medicines you are prescribing, checking for potential hazards and interactions with other medicines, including vitamins. It can also check for safe dosing requirements and help you determine the right amount to dispense per patient at a time. Doing so, especially with young children and the elderly, can be lifesaving.
You are provided with on-the-spot warnings so you know in real-time the dangers of each medicine you prescribe. No more researching quickly during your patient visit.
The programs allow you to dispense as few or as many pills as you deem appropriate. This can help when you want to avoid addiction to prescription medicines such as opiates. Instead of prescribing a typical 30 day dose, you can prescribe as few as one dose.
Other errors happen when patients do not dispose of their medications properly. They may throw them in the trash or flush them down the toilet. Both of which can eventually lead to contaminating water sources in the area.
With in-office dispensing, there is no medication waste. You are dispensing only the amount necessary to treat the patient. The software program can measure how much or how less your patients are taking their medicines based on refill requests, allowing you to adjust the prescription if needed.
The system can also alert you to patients who need to return to your office for a follow-up. For instance, those who have missed refill periods. This alone can lead to better patient health. However, there are even more ways in-office dispensing helps with improved health outcomes.
Improved Patient Outcomes
Because delivery of medicine can be coordinated with other clinical needs, patients save time and money when you dispense at the point of care. The easier you make it for patients, the more likely they are to follow through with instructions.
It is so much easier for patients to follow prepackaged instructions than when medicines are sent home in one bottle. Adherence packaging labels medicine and separates each pill so the patient knows when to take their medicine each day.
Pharmacists do not automatically check to see if a patient is refilling their medicine on time. They are not aware of when patients have stopped taking their medications altogether unless they are prompted to look up their information in the database.
With hundreds of patients being served each day, it is unlikely they take the time to measure compliance, even if it is important to them.
With in-office dispensing, you can do what pharmacists are not doing. You can have better control over your patients’ health.
In the end, patients want to deal with their doctor, the person they trust the most. They trust with their life, literally. This is why it is essential you do all you can to ensure they are given proper care. In-office dispensing is one way.