In most cases, Patients generally take their prescribed medication as directed by their doctors, however, misuse or abuse of drugs is on the rise, especially for prescription opioid medication. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health cites that an estimated two million patients in the U.S. misuse their prescription while a significant number also misuse or abuse stimulants, tranquilizers, and sedatives.
Doctors and healthcare providers have a crucial role in detecting and preventing abuse or misuse of drugs. Here are some tips to prevent your patients from going on this path.
Invest in an in-office medication dispensing system for your clinic.
Almost all states have a PDMP (Prescription Drug Monitoring Program) in place. Pharmacists have long been using this tool to track medications given to patients to ensure they aren’t receiving more than is safe to prescribe. DirectRx’s in-office medication dispensing system is set to automatically submit dispensed medications reports to each respective state’s database so physicians don’t have to perform the task manually, and to ensure the information is up-to-date. That way, when Doctors check their state’s PDMP, the information is up-to-date and can help in potentially identifying patients in suspicion of misusing or abusing drugs.
Providing prepackaged medications is the core of DirectRx’s service offering. This means medications are packed in ready-to-dispense sizes so there is no need for the staff to pill count, bottle and label a prescription. Not only does this eliminate the potential for inter-office theft or diversion of pills, it also removes any doubt of whether or not the patient received the prescribed amount of pills. If doctors see the signs of potential abuse or misuse, they can adjust the drug intake accordingly by offering a smaller packaged size and then continue to carefully monitor the patient.
Other Ways to Prevent Drug Abuse/Misuse
You may partner with other healthcare providers to develop informational materials.
There should be continuous education on the risks of taking drugs, especially for post-surgery or post-confinement treatments. As a doctor, if you have enough educational materials in your clinic, then you can discuss the topic with your patients during follow-up visits.
It is the responsibility of the health care provider to teach and guide their patients well. They have to help them understand that some medicines, while helpful, may still be dangerous, and visual aids like pamphlets and fliers can help.
You may incorporate substance abuse screening in your consults with patients.
During clinic visits, a physician can usually detect if a patient has the potential for abuse or misuse by asking the right questions when discussing the patient’s medical history and if special attention is paid to the signs of abuse. Indeed, this kind of screening is encouraged by the Association of American Family Physician, which has provided some sample questions to ask patients to determine if they are at risk.
Learn more about DirectRx in-office dispensing solutions
DirectRx, an industry leading prepackaged medication provider, offers the best, full-service, in-office dispensing program complete with point-of-care prepackaged medication and customized dispensing solutions to healthcare providers.
Whether you are an urgent care, on-site clinic, hospital, or a physician practice offering work-comp services or primary care, DirectRx can meet your specific needs related to an in-office medication dispensing system.
Get in touch with us to find out how our expertise as one of the best, prepackaged medication providers can serve your medical practice.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.