Our entire team at Drug Mart Pharmacy understands that when you need your medication, you want it as quickly as possible. While we strive to get prescription orders ready in a timely manner, it is important to note that the prescription filling process cannot be rushed. Unlike a fast food restaurant where orders are placed and picked up within a few minutes, there can be no room for error in the prescription filling process. In this article, we will discuss the prescription filling process in detail, from the point when a prescription is first presented to the pharmacy, to the final step of verifying that the correct medication is handed to the right person.
When a prescription is first presented to the pharmacy, either in person or electronically, it needs to be entered into the system. This process involves a pharmacy technician or pharmacist typing the prescription information into the computer, including the person's name, medication, dosage, and any other relevant information. This step alone takes a few minutes to ensure that the prescription is accurately recorded in the pharmacy's database.
Next, the prescription needs to be checked against the patient's allergy profile. This involves the pharmacist reviewing the patient's medical history to ensure that the medication prescribed does not conflict with any known allergies. This step is essential to avoid any adverse reactions or complications that could arise from taking the wrong medication.
After the allergy check, a drug utilization review (DUR) is performed. The DUR is a process of reviewing a patient's medication regimen to identify potential drug interactions, contraindications, or other issues that may require pharmacist intervention. The purpose of the DUR is to ensure that the patient's medication is safe and effective, and to prevent any potential harm from taking the wrong medication.
Once the prescription has been entered into the system, checked against the allergy profile, and the DUR has been performed, the claim needs to be adjudicated with the patient's insurance plan. This step involves the pharmacy submitting the prescription claim to the patient's insurance provider for approval. Depending on the insurance provider, this process can take a few minutes. Additionally, if there is an out-of-pocket expense, our pharmacy staff takes the time to research any savings that can be applied to the prescription to lower your out-of-pocket expense.
After the claim has been adjudicated, the label is printed, and the pharmacy technician locates the medicine and prepares the order. The medication is then double-checked by the pharmacist against the original prescription to confirm that the correct medication has been filled. This step is critical to ensure that the patient receives the right medication and the correct dosage.
Once the medication has been filled and checked, it is marked as ready for pickup. The final step during pickup is to verify that the correct medication is handed to the right person. This involves a triple verification process, where the patient's name and prescription are checked by the pharmacy associate, and the patient themselves. This step is crucial to ensure patient safety and maintain privacy compliance.
It is important to note that if any of the steps in the prescription filling process have friction, it can add to the time when the medication is ready for pickup. For instance, if the insurance plan denies the claim or requires a prior authorization, then the pharmacist has to either call the doctor for an alternative or complete the paperwork for the prior authorization and wait for the doctor's office to submit the paperwork for insurance approval. All of these additional steps can add significant time to the prescription filling process.
At Drug Mart Pharmacy, we understand the importance of getting your medication quickly, but we also believe that patient safety and accuracy are essential. We try our best to inform our patients of accurate wait times and keep them updated on the status of their prescription along the way. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to fill your prescription accurately and safely.
While we aim to get prescription orders ready as quickly as possible, usually in 15 minutes or less, the prescription filling process cannot be rushed. If you have any questions about your specific prescription, don't hesitate to speak to our staff, and we will update you right away.