In-office prescription dispensing can be utilized at your practice to give your patients better and easier access to prescriptions while creating a new revenue stream for your office at the same time. The process of in-office prescription dispensing (often called physician dispensing) works by preparing and delivering prescription drugs to your patients when they are actually present in office. This is done through various technologies which allow the management of inventory, dosing, and drug dispensing. This form of delivering medication to your patients is safe, efficient, and a cost-effective way to ensure your patients are receiving and utilizing the prescriptions they need. The following article gives an overview of in-office prescription dispensing, how it works, and the benefits you’ll get from implementing it into your practice.
Dispensing Prescriptions at the Point of Care
Your patients may not be used to receiving prescriptions at the point of care but its likely they’ll appreciate the time and potentially cost saving of having such a system. Gone could be the days where patients have to make multiple stops to take care of a health-related issue.
The ability to dispense medications at the point of care makes doctor visits a one stop shop for your patients. Not only do patients get to receive medications at the point of care, they also get their medication from providers and medical professionals that they know, trust, and are familiar with. Giving your patients prescriptions in-office also allows the opportunity to calm any concerns about cost, coverage, and side effects as well as ensuring the proper technique in injection (if the medication happens to be self-injectable) and adjusting medication dosage.
The more recent arrival of the COVID-19 virus as a pandemic has further underlined the benefits of in-office prescription dispensing of RX drugs. If a patient gets her or his medication directly from the doctor, she or he is not required to go to the pharmacy, particularly for acute issues where a mail-order pharmacy would not be appropriate. No matter how well-run a pharmacy, an extra trip to a facility where the patient would have to interact with other potential virus-spreaders (or where the patient could spread the virus to other people) creates additional risk for everyone involved, as well as the broader community. These risks are multiple if, e.g., the patient needs to take a bus or subway to the pharmacy and must interact or share space with other people on the way.
Physician Dispensing Laws by State
If you, like many doctors, are interested in integrating in-office prescription dispensing into your practice, there is a process for getting it set up. The first step is to ensure that dispensing medications in-office is actually legal in your state. Each state has a variety of regulations as to what can and can’t be done in terms of integrating actual medication dispensing to your office. Luckily, DocRx has vast experience with just about every state when it comes to in-office physician dispensing. Fill out a contact form here to get in touch with DocRx (or likewise you can look at your State Board of Pharmacy). After familiarizing yourself with your state regulation, it’s important to think about the logistics of in-office medication dispensing at your practice. In order to carefully monitor your patients’ prescriptions and the whole process, you will need dispensing medication software. Be sure to reach out to your friendly DocRx rep on software or logistical questions. DocRx typically sees offices up to date and trained on medication dispensing software in just hours or days. The last step of the process is to have a medication dispensing company which supplies your practice with a large quantity of generic medications. The right company should quickly provide excellent service at reasonable rates. DocRx is the leader among this practice not only because of its’ ability to perform the former qualities but because DocRx also has a strong compliance focus and the experience working with physicians all throughout United States.
How to Dispense Prescription Drugs
After you’ve gotten everything up to speed logistically, now it’s time to use your prescription dispensing ability. Patients will find it comforting and be at ease with the fact that they can fill their prescriptions in-office at the doctor's office that they typically visit.
One common question doctors ask is which medications are available to prescribe in-house? The answer is that any prescription which you can prescribe traditionally through a pharmacy you can dispense. Consult a DocRx expert about our formulary.
Other common questions relate to potential equipment needs or capital purchases required in the dispensing prescriptions process: for example, whether you need an automatic prescription dispenser. The answer to this is no. In fact, you should not need to pay for any additional equipment or staff time. Most likely, all you will likely need is a locked and secure place to store your medications and access to a normal office printer, and you will find that the cost of dispensing a prescription is surprisingly small in both time and monetary investment.
Why Does In House Prescription Dispensing Exist?
The short video below explains some of the background to why prescription dispensing in-office has become so popular...
Benefits of Physician Prescription Dispensing
Earlier, this article mentioned some of the benefits of in-house medication dispensing. Your patients are going to appreciate the convenience of receiving medications in house rather than making another trip to the pharmacy or grocery. But there are other benefits as well. First and foremost, there’s revenue. With DocRx, some doctors may be able to sell their medications to patients at lower prices than pharmacy– and still make a profit. This is a win-win for the patient and the practice, even before accounting for the prescription dispensing fee.
In addition to convenience, in-office prescription dispensing can lead to better, more effective treatment. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 50% of medications are not taken as prescribed. One major driver of this is that many prescriptions are never filled: the Journal of General Internal Medicine puts this figure at 28 to 31 percent of prescriptions, while other studies range from 30 to 40%. Failure to use prescriptions could lead to serious health conditions. With in-office prescription dispensing, doctors can ensure their patients are filling their prescriptions by doing it right there for them. With a 0% failure-to-fill rate, in-house prescription dispensing can help address this issue.
Not only does in-house medication fulfillment boost the rate at which patients fill prescriptions, it can also increase the speed at which patients receive them. As many doctors know, patients do not head immediately to the pharmacy after receiving a prescription. Sometimes it may take days or weeks. By getting your patients the treatment they need in office, it reduces this period which could lead to complications. Not only does dispensing of medication at the point of care offer patient convenience, but it also improves health and office visit effectiveness. All of these factors combined lead to happier patients, better reviews, and a successful practice.
Dispensing with DocRx
DocRx provides help to all doctors who may be interested in trialing an in-office medication dispensing program. Our staff are happy to assist with any questions and have experience assisting offices which are new to dispensing all the way to offices which fulfill hundreds of prescriptions a day. Our prescription dispensing system is incredibly easy, and requires minimal training and no incremental clinical or administrative staff or equipment purchases. Reach out to a representative at DocRx today to learn how they can assist in establishing or optimizing your program.