shutterstock_71583787_w640This post is part three of a three part Series (see 11.5 Critcal Features of Great Physician Dispensing Software – Part I and  11.5 Critical Features of Great Physician Dispensing Software – Part II)

As mentioned in my previous posts, there are four key functions of a point of care dispensing system:

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

This post will cover the last two.

Track Dispenses

You’ve got your inventory covered and printing labels is a breeze.  What about the patients?  From a basic functionality perspective, the system should keep track of the patient’s name, the drug that was given to that patient and the date that the drug was dispensed.  The more sophisticated systems will track a wider array of data about particular patients and in some cases, offer drug safety check and drug utilization review functionality.

  1. Drug Utilization Review is the evaluation of drugs, allergies and other conditions to determine whether problems can occur from the dispensing of the medications.
  2. Safety Checks are a way to detect a patient that is doctor shopping.  Some systems will allow the user to search the database to see if the same patient is trying to fill similar scripts in other places.
  3. A robust system will allow the clinic to track employer, insurer, claim or attorney data for each patient.  Depending on the type of clinic, being able to track these data elements could be critical to effective management of the dispensing process.
  4. Other great features include: refill management, patient consent or counseling forms, claim or authorization numbers or even reimbursement types.

The medication dispensing process should be quick and simple.  Bar code scanning is a must for safety and speed.  A good system will also allow you to configure features so you can turn-off options you don’t want or need.  Take the time to ask the questions, it can be easy to miss key features.


You capture all of that data but it isn’t much help if you can’t get to it.  Your medication dispensing system should have robust reporting capabilities.  A few standard reports might include:

  • Patient dispensing summary
  • Inventory details
  • Profitability
  • Shipments and orders
  • Inventory adjustments
  • Items dispensed
  • General system details (users, change logs etc.)

Sometime clinics need a particular piece of data structured in a certain way.  Be sure your software provider can respond to custom reporting requirements.  In addition,many states now have prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP) that require the dispensing clinic to report all controls dispensed on a weekly basis.  A great service provided by a few systems is the automatic reporting of controls dispensed to the state in which the clinic is located.  If you dispense controls from your clinic in a state with a PDMP, automatic reporting is a must-have feature.

That’s it for my brief primer on physician dispensing software.  Good luck with your system evaluation!  Don’t hesitate to contact us with questions at

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