Clinic Dispensing, Dispensing Pharmacy

Good Ideas for Dispensing Clinics – 2013

Every so often, it is nice to revisit best practices.  The list below comes from a 2009 post.  Enjoy!

I was talking to one of our physicians this week about the practices and protocols she uses to make pharmaceutical dispensing safe and easy within her clinic.  Besides being incredibly energetic and enthusiastic about her patients and growing her practice, this physician had some very good suggestions for any clinic considering medication dispensing:

  1. Develop a dispensing protocol, document it and post it.  This particular physician had done extensive research on the legal elements of dispensing in her state, developed a dispensing protocol that worked for her clinic, staff and patients and then documented her dispensing process.  Not only is it good for the clinic, it demonstrates a higher level of professionalism and diligence should anyone ever ask.
  2. Train your staff.  Don't assume great nurses or data entry clerks make great mind readers.  This physician documented her protocol and actually spent time training her staff on the process and her expectations.  A little bit of time upfront goes a long way.
  3. Go beyond regulation requirements.  What a great idea!  Her goal is best practices.  What are your best practices?  She spent time thinking about dispensing in the context of benefiting patients and her clinic.  I'll devote a later blog to this concept.
  4. Anticipate mistakes.  We are all human so mistakes are a given.  What can we do to anticipate and prevent them?  In her case, the physician requires double-checks in at least two points along her dispensing process.  It didn't add much time and has been very effective.
  5. Embrace security.  Though it is not required, this physician stores all of her medications in a double-locked cabinet.  Controlled substances require extra security but it doesn't hurt to keep everything locked up.
  6. Leverage prepackaged pharmaceuticals.  This physician's original model involved having office staff count pills and package medications for patients.  Even when this isn't expressly forbidden by law, it presents numerous points of error to the clinic.  Most staff are not trained as pharmacy techs and it is difficult to implement and manage pill counting and packaging.  Our friendly physician sought out Northwind Pharmaceuticals to help her get out of the pill counting business thereby enhancing her practice and reducing her risks.

Stay tuned!  We'll post some additional best practices in the coming months.

Schedule a free claims analysis now.

Let’s Talk now


Betsy Bigler | Mar 7th, 2024
INDIANAPOLIS, March 7, 2024 – Northwind has announced the addition of Tony Purkey as Senior Vice President, Client Strategies. “Demand from our self-funded employer and union clients is driving rapid growth,” said Phillip Berry, CEO. “Tony Purkey joins Northwind at a time when we need high-integrity leaders with expert knowledge in employer-sponsored health and the … more »

continue reading

Voices Lost in the Noise

Phillip Berry | Jan 31st, 2024
In the health benefits world, the mad scramble toward January renewals/starts has subsided and attention has turned to the annual cycle of review necessary to gauge progress. How did we do? The plan review process generally centers on analytics to gauge progress or regress and to identify “areas of opportunity.” Good. The right data with … more »

continue reading