Thursday, March 13, 2008

QuikMeds Dispensing in Doctor's Offices

I have always supported drug dispersal at the MD's office, considering 30% of prescriptions never get filled. My only concern (and why pharmacists are needed) is that medication errors can easily occur since their is no human interaction. Sure the nurse checks to make sure that it is the correct drug and dosage, but how can he/she be sure the label matches what is inside of the bottle?

Imagine seeing your doctor and getting a prescription filled all in one shot.

Now, a new in-office vending machine could save patients an extra trip to the drug store.

"It takes us two minutes, three minutes to process it," said Dr. Madeleine Weiser. "It's very quick."

Doctor Weiser says she installed the Quiqmeds system in her office to save patients time and money.

"You're giving the patient the exact same thing that you would be ordering at a pharmacy," said Dr. Weiser. "But you're able to deliver sometimes a larger quantity for a similar price or a better price."

The dispensing machine holds mostly cost-saving generics.

Instead of writing a prescription on a pad, the doctor logs into the system using a security code and orders the medication on a touch screen.

"I pick what kind of dosage I want to give, whether it's one teaspoon two times a day or three times a day," said Dr. Weiser. "So, I have full control over it. There's no confusion as to what I want."

While a printer churns out personalized instructions, the machine coughs up the medication.

"When it's right here and you can answer their questions and it really saves on the phone calls that go back and forth to clarify sometimes medication orders," said Dr. Weiser.

The prescription is at the front desk by the time the patient checks out.

Some doctors say the Quiqmeds system improves compliance among patients.

Depending on the state, doctors who use the machine make a minimal profit on each prescription.

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