From her experience with international prescriptions, “it was evident that there were clear distinctions between prescription standards and prescribing practices in the United States in comparison to European prescriptions/prescribing,” she said. The base operates under U.S. federal prescription guidelines and international providers must be educated on the requirements of military beneficiaries so that the pharmacy could fill and verify prescriptions.
“We also have the challenge of dealing with providers speaking and writing in several languages such as Dutch and German,” Johnson said. She worked with medical translators at her clinic and developed a template that outlined the U.S. prescription requirements in several languages.
“It decreased delays and missing prescription information necessary for our pharmacy to successfully verify the hundreds of international prescriptions we encounter annually,” Johnson said. “This also decreased out-of-pocket expenses for our patients and enhanced our partnership with our international providers.”
She also established 24-hour care for dental emergencies and a protocol for after-hours dispensing, decreasing the referrals for emergencies and saving $20,000 in the first four months.
“While overseas, it is important to limit the amount of off-base referrals and establish after-hours care because of the language barriers and the concern of medication interactions,” she said.