My last post ( 11.5 Critical Features of Great Physician Dispensing Software – Part I ) mentioned four key functions of a clinic dispensing system:

  • Manage inventory
  • Print labels
  • Track dispenses
  • Provide Reporting

Manage Inventory

Any physician dispensing software solution you implement should be able to track your inventory.  Here are some key elements that you will want:

  1. The system should allow you to track lot number, expiration date, manufacturer NDC and repackager NDC.  Having the appropriate data elements could be critical if you need to deal with a recall or provide reporting data to regulators.
  2. The system should make it easy for you to reorder medications.  This includes being able to set reorder points by drug item.  Once your reorder point is set, the system should allow you to automatically submit that order or notify you that an item is due for reorder.
  3. The system should track the brand and generic name of your medication.  In a world in which drugs are frequently referred to by different names, this is a key feature to help avoid confusion.

Print Labels

Label printing is a very basic function but there are some important requirements in a good system:

  1. The system should allow you to use different types of labels.  Flexibility is good and you don’t want to be tied into a single label vendor.
  2. The system should be able to print warning labels based on the medication.  This is a great feature and the warning labels should be part of the dispensing label.
  3. The clinic dispensing software should give you the option to print a patient drug monograph.  This is the information sheet that you see when you pick up your prescription     from the pharmacy.  There are a number of organizations that maintain this type of data and the maintenance agreements are expensive.  You definitely want it as part of your solution.
  4. The system should allow you to print your label on an inkjet or laserjet printer.  Yeah, this is common sense but a question worth asking.

Please note, I’m not trying to be comprehensive in this overview.  These are guidelines but are not exhaustive.  Ultimately, the system you implement needs to match to your specific requirements.  With that said, the points above are entry points to the dispensing software game.  My next post will continue the discussion with key points on tracking dispenses and reporting.

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