Dawn Burke
Author: Dawn Burke | Date July 29, 2020

Taking Prescription Renewal Workflows from Good to Great

Over the years, our team at healthfinch has seen the good, the bad and the ugly of prescription renewal metrics. Our goal is to get everyone to great metrics through the delegation and simplification of renewal workflows. Many health systems are doing good things to reduce the burden of these non-reimbursable, routine tasks…we just give them an extra boost! Here, we break down the good from the great and explain how our solution, Charlie, can help you get there.

Turnaround Time

Good: 24-48 hours
Great: Less than 24 hours

Prescription renewal turnaround — the time it takes for a prescription renewal request to be sent back to the pharmacy after it’s been received — is often higher in workflows where providers are responsible for processing their own renewal requests. Balancing the workload of seeing patients and completing administrative work (which can easily consume half of a provider’s day), can lead to higher turnaround times. As a result, patients end up waiting longer for their medications and duplicate requests start piling up, adding even more work to sort through.

Charlie enables safe delegation to non-provider staff and automates the manual chart review required so that staff can quickly and easily process requests on behalf of providers. Most health systems that use Charlie see renewal turnaround times below 24 hours, with some as low as 8-12 hours!

Related reading: Pitfalls of long prescription renewal turnaround times

Provider to Staff Ratio

Good: 10:1
Great: 30:1

Many health systems have centralized the task of prescription renewal requests to achieve higher efficiency and enable providers and their clinical staff to focus more on patient care. Those who centralize often look at the provider to staff ratio — how many providers one staff member can support — to better understand how well their processes are performing.

A good centralized team often has somewhere around a 10:1 provider to staff ratio. An even better ratio, though, is 30:1 and Charlie has helped many health systems get there! Through the significant time savings and optimized workflows that Charlie provides, staff are able to complete more renewals per day, and thus, support more providers.


Good: 100 medications covered
Great: 900+ medications covered

While this isn’t necessarily a metric that health systems monitor regularly, it is a critical component to taking renewal workflows from good to great. The more medications that are covered by protocols, the more efficient the process can be. While some health systems come to us with a handful of previously established protocols that may cover 25-100 medications, others have virtually none.

Charlie comes with a base set of approximately 250 protocols that cover over 900 medications. After completing a thorough analysis to determine which protocols an organization already has vs. what’s missing, the healthfinch Customer Success team then helps lead productive consensus discussions, training, and implementation of the protocols.

Additionally, managing renewal requests with Charlie gives health systems a leg up on traditional paper or computer-based protocols by integrating them directly into EMR workflows, saving staff even more time and reducing risk.

Related reading: Why It’s Necessary to Integrate Protocols Into Existing Workflows

What other prescription renewal metrics should you be monitoring? Download our eBook, “Introduction to Prescription Refill Requests” to see industry benchmarks and learn how your health system compares.



Dawn Burke

Written By: Dawn Burke on July 29, 2020

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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