Dawn Burke
Author: Dawn Burke | Date June 6, 2019

3 Signs You Need Refill Management Technology

Refill management technology allows organizations to be more efficient by streamlining the actions required to complete prescription renewal requests. If you aren’t already using a technology solution to enhance your prescription renewal workflows, here are three signs you should be!

1. Every other renewal request seems like a duplicate

Does it ever seem like your inbox is full of duplicate refill requests? This is often the result of poor turnaround of the initial request. The longer it takes a pharmacy to get the prescription sent back, the more likely they are to continue sending renewal requests. Due to the automated nature of this process, the requests will just keep coming until a response is received. This poses a challenge to staff because it’s not always immediately clear if the most recent renewal request is a duplicate. Each request must still be reviewed as if it were the first, which wastes valuable provider and staff time.


Many organizations find that their turnaround time for processing renewal requests averages 48-72 hours, which can cause 2-3+ requests for the same prescription. To avoid unnecessary duplicates cluttering your inbox, a goal should be to reduce turnaround time to 24 hours or less, since that’s often the threshold at which pharmacies start following up with additional requests.


2. It takes you more than 3 minutes to complete a single renewal request

In order to properly and safely refill a prescription, someone (a provider, nurse, pharmacy technician, etc.) must thoroughly review the patient’s chart for key data to determine whether it can be approved. This typically involves several clicks to look for lab results, appointments, previous refills, or other medication-specific criteria. Many organizations find that this process can take upwards of 5-8 minutes per request. Multiply that by the number of renewal requests received in a given day or week, and it results in a good portion of time spent on this necessary, but monotonous work.


Organizations that utilize a refill management technology solution regularly see the processing time per request below three minutes. In fact, many are under two minutes. This time savings returns your staff’s attention to more complex work, including direct patient care.


3. You (or your providers) are processing renewal requests at 10:00pm

If you find there’s not enough time in your day to get all your work done, you’re not alone. While there may be some tasks that unfortunately get pushed to off hours, prescription renewal requests shouldn’t be one of them. Completing requests outside of your normal clinic hours is a direct result of inefficient workflows (i.e. the previous two points) and can lead to burnout.


One way to address off hours refill work is to delegate the task away from providers and allow RNs, MAs, or other qualified staff to process them. Another way is to develop more efficient processes. Luckily, refill management technology like the Charlie Practice Automation Platform can help with both!


First, Charlie scrubs the patient chart and provides all pertinent information so that the provider or staff doesn’t need to spend unnecessary time clicking around the EMR. Then, Charlie goes a step further and compares each request against evidence-based protocols configured to your organization’s standards. This lets the staff completing the request know if it’s in protocol and safe to approve, or if it needs additional review by a provider.


This process alone can help alleviate all three of the burdens mentioned in this article. But, there’s much more that Charlie can do! To learn more and better understand how Charlie can make an impact at your organization, schedule a demo with our team today!

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Dawn Burke

Written By: Dawn Burke on June 6, 2019

Dawn is the Marketing Manager at healthfinch, and is responsible for all aspects of marketing - from online presence and brand management to conferences and content creation.

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