Hospital pharmacy innovation has always been ahead of retail pharmacy. Hospitals are mostly not for profit business models which generate considerably more revenue per business unit. Also, hospitals have communities to enrich, not shareholders.
About 20 years ago, hospitals attempted decentralizing pharmacy services to better control and manage drug inventory by adding satellite pharmacies to each floor of each hospital. A necessary idea that was never cost justified, it created confusion between the roles of pharmacists and nurses. Pharmacists dispense, nurses administer, why a pharmacist on the floor?
An Attempt to Solve the Problem
In 1990, a company called Pyxis solved the role dispute, and drug inventory management problem by creating a medication management kiosk on each hospital floor. The new technology brought better pharmacy supervision to nursing and created an entire new market which they kept to themselves for many years. However, the Pyxis innovation has never worked outside the inpatient world because patient self-administration was not a concern, and the technology did not exist to identify, correctly pull, and then properly patient-label an Rx drug product as required in the outpatient/retail world.
An Alternative Solution
Now, 20 years later, distinct retail and clinical lines are becoming blurred with hospital clinics in retail settings, and physicians offices in retail chain drug stores. A company called MedifriendRx has created technology that allows Kiosks that reside in any nurses station/exam room treatment zone medical office/clinical setting while providing 100% drug inventory management accountability and control under the authorization of the retail pharmacy DEA license. A pharmacist can provide telephone-pharmacy consults, and the kiosk pulls the proper med and labels it with patient specific information according to the doctors prescribed/transmitted orders. Pharmacists can now use technology to both dispense and be present for patients at the point of prescribing. This is the most convenient location for the patients to pick up their first Rx. Because this new technology is both compelling and disruptive there will be winners and losers.
- The patient who can now conveniently pick up their first Rx without having to drive to a retail location and wait 20 to 30 minutes,
- Medication adherence which typically means that the 31% of patients who never pick up their first Rx at a pharmacy because of a convenience factor, can now be better served.
- Cost controls for any hospital ACO or health plan arrangement where prescription costs need to be controlled with better choices at the point of prescribing not after the act but during the act.
- Physicians/prescribers who feel gratified in watching a patient walk out of their office with prescribed medication in hand. How can a patient follow their treatment plan as prescribed if they don’t even pick up their first Rx at a pharmacy, ask physician/prescribers?
- Cost of putting in a new pharmacy is dramatically less with a “plug in the wall” MedifriendRx kiosk pharmacy.
- Retail store locations which no longer hold relevance when a patient can pick up the first RX physicians office and have the refills home delivered.
- Any pharmacy who doesn’t get the first Rx out of the doctor’s office from their own controlled kiosk COVID-19, because patients no longer have to go into retail locations with other sick patients to pick up their medication.
To learn more about how the MedifriendRx® pharmaceutical kiosk can help improve your healthcare business contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.