The Right Mix: Assembling a Prescription Renewal Protocol Committee
Developing thorough, effective prescription renewal protocols so you can delegate the task to non-providers requires input from multiple people. Be careful when assembling your protocol committee though — enlist too many people and it will be challenging to make progress! What is the right number of contributors, and who should be included to ensure productive, insightful discussions on how to provide the best care for patients requesting prescription renewals?
Based on years of experience leading protocol consensus meetings and managing implementations of our prescription renewal delegation solution, Charlie, we recommend the following individuals:
Building your protocol committee starts with identifying a provider champion — someone who acts as the liaison between clinical users and IT staff when implementing new technology solutions. A provider champion should have good rapport with other providers and staff, be passionate about the goal of the project, and understand the scope of work and challenge it will solve.
Check out this blog article for more details on what makes a good provider champion.
If your renewal protocols are only being designed for primary care, one or two primary care providers may participate in consensus. However, if rolling out to specialties such as cardiology or endocrinology, be sure to include a provider representative from each specialty.
Creating comprehensive protocols sets a health system up for safe prescription renewal delegation to non-provider staff. Often, the task of completing renewals rests with nurses or pharmacy staff. In your committee, be sure to include one or two team members who will be responsible for following the protocols and helping to enforce them. End user buy-in is a major factor for success, as inclusion in the decision-making process can help them understand and develop trust in the protocols. Also, if your workflow will be centralized, you may wish to include the supervisor of the centralized team.
Some providers may have mixed feelings about delegating renewal requests - a task that, though time-consuming, they’ve been accustomed to completing themselves for years. While everyone else on your committee should be thoroughly bought into the idea, it’s also advantageous to include a provider who has reservations. Allowing a “provider detractor” to participate may uncover some important “what if” scenarios that may have otherwise been overlooked. In the end, however, the hope is that the detractor will become a supporter once they see the thought process that went into all decisions. Additionally, they can help answer questions from any remaining providers who may still be on the fence.
In all, you should engage about 5-7 committee members, depending on the number of specialties included. Many more than that and you will likely end up with excessive meetings and delayed consensus. Any less and you may miss key perspectives that could impact the organization and its delivery of patient care.
For more tips on protocol consensus, creation, and maintenance, download our eBook, “Achieving Refill Protocol Consensus.”