ST. LOUIS , Mo . â€“ August 20, 2007
Three out of four Americans would have their prescription filled in their doctorâ€™s office instead of a pharmacy if given the choice, a new study finds, suggesting physicians are missing an opportunity to improve patient satisfaction and enhance revenue by not dispensing medicine in their office. The nationwide research, conducted by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of Purkinje, a healthcare technology and services company, examined consumer attitudes of an FDA-approved service known as in-office medication or point-of-care dispensing.
The practice involves distributing pre-packaged medications directly to patients at the point-of-care, saving them a trip to the pharmacy and allowing them to immediately begin their treatment. Overall preference for office-based medication dispensing appears to be driven by the prospect of saving time and improving quality of care. A majority of respondents (84%) said such a service would be more convenient, and 62% said it would help them better manage their health.
Other highlights: Households with children (83%) and respondents age 25-44 (82%) were most likely to have their prescriptions filled in a physicianâ€™s office if given the choice. There were no apparent attitude differences according to household income or geographic location. Respondents with an annual household income of less than $25,000 (77%) and those age 25-34 (72%) were most likely to agree that in-office medication dispensing would help them better manage their own health. In general, there were no attitude differences according to the gender, household income, level of education or geographic location of respondents.
â€œThousands of progressive medical and dental offices around the nation are adding medication dispensing as a way to heighten the patient experience and create a new source of revenue,â€ said Tom Doerr, M.D., chief medical officer for Purkinje and a practicing physician. â€œPatients like the comfort of having their prescription filled in the privacy of their physicianâ€™s office, and the convenience of starting their treatment right away.â€
The practice of filling prescriptions in the doctors office is not new, but recent advances in technology, changes in reimbursement rates and the emergence of patient-centered medicine are each helping to fuel resurgence in point-of-care dispensing. Sophisticated software programs, for example, double check to ensure patients are receiving the right medicine, cross-check against known allergies and look for potentially adverse interactions. Medications arrive in safety-sealed bottles, prepackaged off-site under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist. Colorful labels explain how and when to take the medicine.
â€œMore and more, physicians are recognizing that filling prescriptions at the point-of-care isnâ€™t just good medicine, but that it also improves customer service and reassures patients,â€ Doerr said.
ABOUT THE RESEARCH Findings are based on a telephone survey conducted among a national probability sample of 1,023 adults comprising 510 men and 513 women 18 years of age and older, living in private households in the continental United States. Interviewing was completed during the period July 19-22, 2007.
ABOUT PURKINJE Purkinje partners with physicians to help them save time, maximize income and provide optimal care to their patients. The company offers a unified suite of managed software solutions in the areas of practice management, electronic health records, personal health records and electronic prescribing, each incorporating innovative decision support and workflow enhancing tools. Additionally, Purkinje provides a series of professional services to physician practices that further maximize efficiency, cost savings and income, including billing, transcription and medication fulfillment. Named after renowned Czech physiologist Jan Evangelista Purkinje, the companyâ€™s award-winning solutions are relied upon by more than 5,000 physicians throughout the United States and Canada.
Andrew Shea Purkinje, Inc.
David Resnic Schwartz Communications (781) 684-0770