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With advanced primary care, the majority of a patient's healthcare is provided by a dedicated care team in a single location. There’s a continuity of care you can’t get within the traditional healthcare model — from regular checkups to prescription medications.
Instead of sending patients elsewhere to pick up a prescription, advanced primary care clinics on site at the patient's workplace or nearby can dispense medication directly.
More importantly, they close the loop on the treatment plan by following up with patients to see how they're tolerating new medications and address any issues that arise. Here are three more ways that onsite clinic pharmacies improve patient experiences.
In traditional healthcare models, after all the waiting and then an impersonal and lightening-quick appointment, you’re also going to wait at the pharmacy.
You’ve undoubtedly had this experience: you wait in line to give your prescription to the overworked pharmacist. They’re hurried and flustered, likely working the line and drive-thru alone.
You wander around the store waiting for your prescription. You wonder if you should leave and come back. You don’t have much time as it is, and you may not be able to go back until tomorrow — but it sounded like you were supposed to start taking your medication immediately, so you stay. You hear your name called, and it’s finally your turn again to get your prescription and pay.
Compared with a pharmacy at an onsite clinic, it’s a waste of time. Not to mention the drive across town that means more time away from home or work — and now you’re running late.
Onsite clinic pharmacies — technically, they're called dispensaries — are inherently more convenient. More often than not, you leave the clinic with your medications in hand, and your own care team talks you through when and how to take them.
This convenience is critical for patient follow-through, often resulting in better health outcomes and fewer complications.
Regardless of how friendly a pharmacist is, in a traditional pharmacy, the entire engagement is strictly transactional. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians see hundreds of people every day, each with different medication needs and questions.
They’re frequently overworked, and they don’t have enough time or support to connect with every patient. There are just too many people and too many demands.
At an Advanced Primary Care clinic, the dispensary plays a crucial role in care coordination for every clinic patient. Primary care providers work directly with the dispensary to educate patients about their medications. They know their patients, understand their context, and have visibility into a patient’s overall care journey.
They have time to answer questions, provide clarification, and make personalized recommendations to help their patients — and that significantly improves the quality of care.
Have you ever received a phone call from a traditional pharmacy asking how you’re tolerating a new medication? Chances are, you haven’t.
That’s another benefit of a clinic dispensary — and like the other benefits we've discussed, it goes back to knowing and having a relationship with the patient.
When patients have concerns about their medications or any side effects they may be experiencing, their care team is already up to date and ready to answer questions or tweak the care plan.
Advanced primary care dispensaries add so much value to the clinical experience, and they’re a critical part of the care team that provides patients with a closed-loop healthcare experience.
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