The Value of Point-of-Care Testing

If your pharmacy hasn’t yet offered point-of-care testing, what are you waiting for? Your pharmacy can enhance revenue by offering point-of-care testing (POCT) and expanding patient-care services.

Worried about the equipment you’ll need for point-of-care testing? Don’t be. It’s fairly simple and uses compact, single-use, consumable cartridges that test for a specific antibody. By integrating point-of-care services, you’ll have many advantages over those who don’t. Here are six benefits you can look forward to:

Offer quicker access to medication

Patients have become accustomed to receiving near-immediate access to their prescriptions at the point-of-care pharmacy. This quick access to prescriptions makes point-of-care testing an easy decision over laboratory testing. These consumer expectations are the driving force behind instant access to all services, not just healthcare.

Make a good first impression

Give your patients a pleasant and hassle-free experience. Increase the chances that they will return to your store by integrating your POCT services.

Add income

You can make additional income requiring very little upkeep with a standalone pharmacy kiosk. Some standalone pharmacy kiosks provide a stable revenue. They require low maintenance and pose very little risk to the pharmacy.

Improve patient adherence

Access to an online patient portal results in better medication adherence, studies show. The portal makes the information more accessible.

Build better doctor-patient relationships

If you have an on-site physician, take a patient-centered approach. Understanding the patient’s experience can help make informed decisions easier. Immediate and accurate prescriptions will ultimately be the the result, and patient outcomes and satisfaction will improve greatly.

Time-saving solutions

Tired of hearing patients complain about long wait times? Integrate point-of-care testing guidelines into your pharmacy’s services to reduce the time patients have to wait. Pack prescriptions ahead of time, and the process of administering medications will speed up.

More people want the convenience of a POCT pharmacy that can test, diagnose, and prescribe medication quickly. What pharmacists can or cannot do as far as POCT services depends on state-level regulatory requirements. Some states allow pharmacists to even prescribe therapy based on results of a rapid diagnostic test.

Check with your state to find out the pharmacy practice laws. You can find out if you can order lab tests, administer lab tests, interpret the results of the lab test, or prescribe medication based on test results. The requirements for POCT in pharmacies vary by state. They may include collaborative practice agreements (CPA), additional certifications such as collaborative practice pharmacist certification, or written protocols.

Ask yourself these questions before getting started:

  • Will my patients need a prescription from their physician before I can order or administer a POC test?
  • Is a collaborative practice agreement or protocol needed to be able to act on test results?
  • What is required for reporting results?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, reach out to your state authority to learn more, such as the State Pharmacy Association, State Board of Pharmacy, or State Health Department.

There is a rise in POCT pharmacies improving public health with medication monitoring, patient education, vaccinations, and disease self-care. While you are well-positioned to manage and interpret POCT, you must have further training to enable a smooth transition and to continue meeting your obligations.

A Member-Owned Company Serving Independent Pharmacies

PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy-side of their business. Founded and owned by pharmacists, PBA Health serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, wholesaler contract negotiations, proprietary purchasing tools, and more.

An HDA member, PBA Health operates its own NABP-accredited secondary wholesaler with more than 6,000 SKUs, including brands, generics, narcotics CII-CV, cold-storage products, and over-the-counter (OTC) products — offering the lowest prices in the secondary market.

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Elements is written and produced by PBA Health, a buy-side solutions company.

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