Dawn Burke
Author: Dawn Burke | Date December 12, 2018

Overcoming Provider Objections to Delegating Refill Requests

If you’re at all familiar with healthfinch, you know that our mission is to reduce provider burnout by taking work off their plates and delegating as much as possible. This requires two key elements: standardized protocols for staff to follow and provider trust in the process.

Here are two common objections providers have when asked to delegate their refill requests to staff and how to address them:

Objection: “My patient has a very specific care plan. I don’t want something to be missed.”

It’s common for providers to think of specific patients and how their care plan may not match the standard refill protocols that have been put in place by an organization. For example, providers may be concerned about the care plan of patients with multiple chronic conditions or want to see some patients more frequently than the protocol recommends.

When this objection arises, it’s important to stress that the purpose of implementing protocols and delegating refill requests does not replace necessary follow-up in clinic. Additional workflows should also be considered to make sure patients are receiving the appropriate level of care. Recognizing when labs are due and ensuring that visits are occurring as needed are critical to maintaining consistency in a patient’s care plan.

Objection: “My staff and I know our patients best. How can we pass refill requests off to people who don’t know our patients and how we practice?”

This is a very common objection when first delegating tasks like refill requests – especially when an organization’s refill workflows are centralized (processed by a call center outside the clinic setting). The staff that are being delegated to usually don’t have established, long-term relationships with the providers they are supporting. Thus, developing trust in the delegation process is critical.

Avoid this objection by ensuring the following two components are considered:

  • Staff licensure – Choose the right licensure to process refill requests to ensure everyone works top of license. As a general rule, this should be a combination of what’s legally required or allowed, and what makes providers feel most comfortable.

  • Standardized protocols – Work on developing standard refill protocols that can be consistently followed by support staff, and seek provider feedback as they’re being created. This will help ease apprehension and build trust in the refill delegation process.

Delegating clinical tasks, such as refill requests, away from providers has many benefits. In addition to the reduction in burnout, it can enhance patient satisfaction, improve organizational quality metrics, and ultimately, pave the way for implementing technology that can further streamline this workflow through automation.

Are you facing other objections from providers? Or, are you a provider who is not fully convinced refill delegation is the best path? Our eBook, “Implementing Standardized Refill Protocols,” provides readers more information on this topic, including a breakdown of appropriate staff licensures to delegate to, how to overcome additional provider objections, and pros and cons of a centralized vs decentralized workflow. Download your copy today!

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Editor's Note:
States laws on refill delegation vary. Be sure to check with your State Boards before implementing a delegated workflow.

Dawn Burke

Written By: Dawn Burke on December 12, 2018

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.