In this article, we will be looking at the pros, and cons of in-office medication dispensing and weigh out its benefits.
What is in-Office Medication Dispensing?
In-office medication dispensing is preparing and distributing prescription drugs to patients in need right from the physician’s practice or from other medical settings. New technology has now made it possible to manage drug inventory as well as dose and dispense medication to assist patients with managing their treatment plans safely, efficiently, and more cost-effective.
Improved medication adherence for patients with complex treatments
Everyone is aware of all the hassle we go through just to get a prescription filled at the local pharmacy. Before we even drop our prescription off, we already used up our gas, took up our precious time, and fought traffic just to get there.
Then we have to wait in line just to drop our prescription off and even when it’s our turn it takes time to give the pharmacist all our information, wait for him or her to check and see if they have the medication in the stock, and then find out if our insurance will cover the cost.
Once that’s all done, we still have to wait as some scripts could take hours to fill. Our waiting isn’t over yet. Even if our prescription is ready and all bagged up, we still have to wait our turn in line again to complete the transaction before we finally get to go on with our day. All this is bad enough for a person with a minor ailment, but for someone who is really sick or undergoing difficult therapies, such as a patient with cancer, it could be very hectic and feel like torture.
Thus, many pharmacies don’t even carry a lot of the oncology drugs or other specialty medications and even if they do, it may not be covered under the patient’s insurance.
in-office medication structures offer a solution that can be an immense benefit to both patients and physicians by allowing physicians to deliver a patient’s medication to them before they leave the office and bypass the pharmacy hassle all-together.
Physicians can use pharmacy management software to determine drug interactions with other medications used by the patient and check their insurance coverage, complete prior authorizations – if needed – and even help to find co-pay assistance for costly medications. Therefore, this will also help improve a patient’s regimen compliance.
Minimized drug waste with true split-fills
The norm for Highly toxic drugs, such as the medication used in cancer treatment is usually 30-day fills. However, patients tend to delay or may even discontinue treatment plans that include specialty drugs due to tumor progression or intolerance, which results in drug waste. Some pharmacies offer 14-day split fill preset programs, but an automated drug dispenser system can, not only improve medication adherence, but it can also ensure patients return for follow-up care by adjusting the prescription to only dispense the amount needed according to the patient’s office visits, which also helps to reduce waste.
Excellent community care supported by a national research network
Treatments for chronic complex diseases are evolving continuously and the number of oral therapy options and self-administered injections are also rapidly increasing. These types of therapies account for over half of Phase III clinical trials prescribed for complex conditions.
By using these medication dispensers at the clinic where care is provided, physician practices can help advance cohesive community care with business and clinical support capabilities.
In addition, an automated medication dispenser system will also free up staff resources and physician time, allowing local clinicians to focus more on peer collaboration and research.
This system capitalizes on transitioning from infusion to oral chemotherapy drugs, which supports efficient, high-quality, oral care therapy.
Electronic health records stay up to date
When patient treatments are done at the same location, electronic health record (EHR) documents are straightforward and simple. As a result, documentation is more accurate and physicians are able to coordinate with all aspects of a patient’s treatment and make more informed decisions. Moreover, health care costs can be tracked making value-based reimbursement models useful.