Non-dispensing services (NDS) are pharmacy services that are not directly associated with the dispensing of medications. It includes services like medication reviews, common ailment prescribing, medication renewals, injection services, etc. It doesn't include prescription verification, routine patient counselling, etc.
Operationalizing non-dispensing pharmacy services can be challenging. Often, we think of a service that a patient would benefit from during routine dispensing — but with no opportunity or time to deliver that service in the same moment.
By taking a more proactive and intentional approach to non-dispensing services we can take better note of those opportunities and then deliver the services when resources and circumstances allow.
To support successful integration of non-dispensing services, we can reflect on the following:
- When is it possible to deliver services? (What times are OK for booking/service delivery?)
- What services are offered at the pharmacy?
- What services are covered by third party payers?
- What are the standards of practice and documentation requirements associated with the available services?
- What is the team's familiarity and comfort level with promoting and delivering the available services?
- What practice supports exist to support the efficient delivery of NDS (e.g. forms, quick-references, drug file notes, etc.)
- What are the team's goals for delivery of NDS?
- Does the team have a way to track progress and performance?
- What is the team's strategy for delivering NDS and meeting shared goals?
- How do the various pharmacy roles work together to support the delivery of NDS?
- Does the team have a quality improvement system (a way to capture problems with the system to improve things over time)?
- How does the team celebrate meaningful milestones?
- ... and more.
The Primary Toolkit:
- Appointment-Based Pharmacy Worksheet (Determine when services can be booked; establish capacity)
- NDS Budgeting & Planning Tool (Determine monthly NDS goals, working with the blocks available from the ABP Worksheet)
- Operational Plans (The team's strategy for delivery of various NDS)
- Performance Tracking System (Determine actual NDS delivery for comparison with team goals)
- Continuous Quality Assurance (CQA) (A system for capturing and managing system-related problems associated with dispensing and NDS; broader than pharmacy error-reporting/ISMP)
Supportive Tools & Tactics
- Pharmacy Management Software Mastery - Progressive skill-building and utilization of the features available within the pharmacy software to support effective and efficient pharmacy services delivery (dispensing and NDS).
- MedSync - Assists with relieving time-sensitive demands on the dispensary workflow and positions the pharmacy for more proactive care opportunities
- General Recruitment Strategy - Basic training on how to promote NDS
- Organizational Values - A shared team identity
- Foundations of Pharmaceutical Care - Basic training on the structure of the Patient Care Process and how it relates to NDS
- Continuing Professional Development (CPD) - A system to support the continuous management of learning objectives to address self-identified learning needs in pursuit of a professional ideal