Pharmacist Interface?

Good Morning Everyone,

I have been preparing to do a demo presentation to a potential client that owns/runs a private clinic that needs to largely go paperless. The clinic will largely use its own in-house pharmacy.

I am sort of stuck on how to go about the part about how the pharmacy will be administered. I have enabled the “inventory to sell drugs and non-drug products”, I have added some drug items to the “in-house” pharmacy. I am able to add prescriptions to the patient’s chart.

There does not seem to be any dedicated interface for the pharmacist.

To me, an interface or section will be somewhere the pharmacist can go and actually indicate or approve that the “prescribed” medication has been dispensed.

I will like to know how others navigate the “in-house pharmacist” part in the presentations they have done in the past. I will also like to get a sense of how others are actively getting their pharmacists to engage with prescribed medication in OpenEMR.

I will like to know if there are any externally developed Add-on pharmacy modules that create a more robust way to interact with medications.

Hope to hear from someone soon.

Thanks & Warm Regards,

Nuhu M

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Hello @Nuhu_Mazai -

Yes, the Pharmacy Dispensary module certainly is tricky to activate properly. It has some poorly documented dependencies which themselves must be correctly configured.
Have you seen the wiki article on the topic?

https://www.open-emr.org/wiki/index.php/Pharmacy_Dispensary_Module

One of the trickiest parts is the medication templates, which are required to use the Dispensary Module correctly, but the use of which is described in yet another page,
https://www.open-emr.org/wiki/index.php/Using_OpenEMR_Inventory-Dispensary_Module_for_Non-_Pharmaceutical_Products

The documentation wiki is unfortunately pretty disorganized, and that can definitely hinder finding answers. Just keep asking here in the forum and we can point you directly to the relevant docs.

To your other questions. OpenEMR does not have a dedicated interface for a pharmacist. The intended prescription workflow has several stages which can each be performed by staff with different levels of access to the EMR, or the provider can do everything themself.

To start, some non-prescriptive practice staff will use the dispensary inventory interface to maintain the inventory and add new medications or refill the medication stock when needed. Then the prescribing staff- the provider- will record the medication order in some part of the patient’s record- for example, in the ‘Plan’ section of a SOAP note. An authorized staff will make sure the order is properly entered into the Prescription module (‘transcribe the order’). Then the MD or a medication- authorized Nurse administers the med and documents it in the Prescriptions module. With a properly set up Pharmacy Dispensary Module that documentation will automatically deduct the given dose from the medication inventory’s amount on hand.

My understanding is that this pharmacy module was designed with the intention that it would be used with an in-house pharmacy administered by the practice, so involving an outside pharmacist would not be an issue. If an outside pharmacy is used, this module can print a paper Rx of the Provider’s order to be faxed to the pharmacy or for the patient to take in person.

I haven’t heard of any other pharmacy module add-ons except to provide e-prescription (‘eRx’) capabilities. NewCrop eRx is available from a 3d party vendor and it completely sidesteps the native prescription functions, directing all prescription interactions to its external solution.

Hope that was helpful; feel free to ask more questions!
Best- Harley

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Hello Harley,

Thank you very much for the detailed response.

I will digest the information and will revert if I have any questions or observations.

Thank you and Warm Regards,

Nuhu M

I have a potential use case that would allow for pharmacy that has high volume on the in house dispensary side. Is there anyone in the community that has suggestions for improvements or adjustments that would make it easier for high volume use and immediate payment at the in house pharmacy?

Hi @Jeremiah_Ocasio
IMO trying to modify the existing code to accommodate a high traffic workflow would result in a buggy patchwork of mods that made the existing Prescription module not useful to the ones who use it as it is. I would guess that if you use any substantially different workflow than the current individual order/ prescribe system it’d be most efficient to simply write a new module that handles the user and financial I/O itself. It would use the integrated tools (e.g., Stripe) and write directly to the relevant database tables.

So of course a new module would call for a requirements analysis and workflow re-design from the ground up. But that means you can do it however you like rather than being restricted by the existing cruft.

Just thinking-- HT

@htuck that sounds like what I was expecting from looking at the current processes and how they are designed per patient. Ill be starting up a scope of how that would look from my client perspective if any others want to jump in.