In previous posts, I’ve discussed legal, financial and operational considerations as they relate to physician dispensing.   This post is dedicated to the most important element of medical dispensing: patient considerations.

Office medication dispensing brings many benefits to the clinic: revenue, differentiation and patient compliance to name a few.  What does it bring the patient? Convenience, cost savings and outcomes are a few of the benefits.   When evaluating dispensing for your clinic, it is important to focus on these benefits in the structure of your dispensing program.

What makes office dispensing convenient for the patient? Having the right drugs available at the right time.  Obviously, this must be balanced with maintaining profitability but most practices serve common sets of patients with common ailments.  Focused practices like weight management, dermatology and dental make it much easier to anticipate patient medication requirements.  For general practitioners, there is normally an 80/20 effect on patient medication needs: antibiotics, analgesics and cough and cold pharmaceuticals generally fit the bulk of the acute ailments shown for primary care clinics.

Where can the patient save money?  This isn’t always the prime consideration, especially for acute ailments.  However, offering the patient value through cost effective medications helps the patient and the clinic.  It is important to remember that the clinic is not trying to fight cost battles with other options, the clinic is trying to provide the most value.  Cost savings comes in many forms: time, energy, comfort, trust.  Physician dispensing can provide all of these to patients.

How does physician dispensing improve compliance?  I’m not going to delve into the science of compliance. (For those interested, here is a study that does explore this science).   However, it stands to reason that a patient receiving their prescription at the point of care eliminates the first hurdle of compliance: the patient actually filling the prescription order.  Though the clinic cannot know for sure that the patient takes the medication as directed, we know that the patient walked away with the right product at the right time.

Caring for the patient is about helping them get better or feel better.  Offering physician dispensing from your clinic can be a significant part of achieving better care for your patient while benefiting your practice.  Now that is a win/win!

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