A patient waiting a week for a medication change is unacceptable. We can make a positive impact here.
Provider protocols are not new to the world of medicine. Physicians have been using them for years in hospitals in order to allow a more team centered approach between providers and pharmacists. This team approach gives patients better care and lower costs.
We have merely pioneered bringing this model into retail pharmacy. Dermatologist have thousands of medications in their tool belt that they can prescribe to best help a patient. And sometimes there are factors outside of the straightforward interaction of diagnosis and treatment that a provider cannot realistically be aware of. This is where a protocol comes in.
The old way
If there is an issue of any kind, whether it be a small detail, or a major issue, the pharmacist would have to reach out to the provider. The pharmacist will let the provider know what the issue is and ask how the provider would like to modify the prescription.
The problem with this model is that the provider is not an expert in medication costs, or different ways the medication may be available, and another big issue is the communication in general. Providers today are busier than ever. Trying to reach the other party on the phone can be a major challenge for both the pharmacist and the provider. Sometimes faxes, and phone calls can take 1-2 weeks before a medication change is finally approved due to all of these issues.
The new way (using a protocol)
With a provider protocol in place we can take a process that usually takes days or weeks and complete the process in minutes. Our pharmacist simply reference the provider protocol to see what the provider prefers in specific situations and combines that with years of experience to make a medication change that is best for that patient. This not only saves huge amounts of time and gets the medication in the patients hands faster, it also often saves the patient significant amounts of money!
Our protocols focus on two primary areas. The first area is using alternative medication strengths or release mechanisms when necessary. Many medications come in 10 or more strengths and different types of release mechanisms, immediate release, delayed release, extended release to name a few. The second area we focus on is medications within a class. Medications often have 3-5 other medications in the same class, meaning by in large they have remarkably similar abilities to help patients and do it in a similar way. Each of these medications have many different nuances and it is important that professionals (Providers and Pharmacist) understand these in order to make wise decisions that help patients.
Creating a protocol
We work with each provider to create a protocol that fits their patients needs. No two providers are exactly alike, and they make their own choices. In realizing this perspective, we are able to streamline each providers practice that chooses to use a protocol and provide a much better patient experience at the same time.
For more information or to create a protocol for your practice, contact one of our excellent pharmacists. Simply call the pharmacy and ask to speak with a pharmacist about it.
See the claRx Big Country Dermatology Pharmacy difference by reviewing our Pricing Sheet.