Clinic Dispensing, Employer Clinic, In Office Dispensing, Physician Dispensing

Physician Dispensing Makes a Difference for Patients

Physician dispensing offer numerous benefits to the clinic: revenue, differentiation, and patient medication adherence to name a few.  What does it bring to the patient? Convenience, value, and better outcomes to name a few of the benefits.   When evaluating a physician dispensing program for your practice, it is important to focus on these benefits in the structure of your dispensing program.

What makes in-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.  Specialties can easily anticipate the primary medications required for their patient population..  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. The good news is that many medications to treat chronic conditions can also be made available to patients in the clinic or office setting. Many offices even offer 90 day counts as another convenience to the patient.

Where can the patient derive value?  Cost 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 price battles with discount or giveaway options; the clinic is trying to provide the most value.  Cost savings comes in many forms: time, energy, comfort, and dollars.  Physician dispensing can provide all of these to patients. Point-of-care dispensing can be an effective mechanism for balancing dollar costs with added value from a patient perspective.

How does physician dispensing improve medication adherence?  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. Prescription adherence typically sits within the top 4 “gaps in care” for any patient population.

Caring for the patient is about helping them get better and feel better faster.  Dispensing drugs at the point of care 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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