Stamp Out Mishaps When Mailing or Delivering Rxs

More community pharmacies will mail or deliver Rxs to patients...some even by drone.

The goal is to improve convenience and med adherence...especially for patients who may have mobility issues, busy lifestyles, etc.

But there are nuances to consider when mailing or delivering meds. Use these rules of thumb.

When a patient requests mail or delivery, check which meds they're taking. Some pharmacies, state laws, or payers may not allow mailing certain meds...such as controlled substances or products that need to be reconstituted.

Follow your pharmacy's process for identifying Rxs that need to be mailed or delivered. For example, flag patient profiles, write notes on will-call bags, or use colored bins.

Devote a special spot for filled Rxs that need to be sent they don't get mixed in with Rxs that patients will pick up.

Consider calling the patient to confirm their mailing or delivery address, the meds being sent, Rx prices, and payment information. Most Rxs can't be returned to stock once they leave the pharmacy.

Plus you can set expectations about when the delivery will arrive...and the pharmacist can provide counseling on the call.

Triple-check all Rx info when getting the med ready for mail or ensure the right med is dispensed to the right patient.

Include any paperwork with the package...such as HIPAA privacy docs and MedGuides. These are still required with mailed or delivered Rxs.

Take steps to maintain the "cold chain" if your pharmacy delivers refrigerated meds. For instance, use insulated packaging to maintain controlled temperatures...and consider express shipping to avoid delays.

See our new tech tutorial, Delivering and Mailing Prescriptions, for more best practices on med packaging, streamlining workflow, etc.

Key References

  • J Manag Care Spec Pharm 2016;22(11):1247-59
  • (12-13-19)
  • (12-13-19)
Pharmacy Technician's Letter. January 2020, No. 360111

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