Tracking Renewal Request Volumes to Optimize Staffing
Prescription renewal requests don’t come in at a steady stream - volume ebbs and flows throughout the week and day. Understanding these patterns can help you optimize your staffing and prepare for times of higher request volumes.
We’ve aggregated data from three of our Allscripts customers to understand their weekly renewal volumes. This article shares the data we found and some tips for planning accordingly.
A Case of the Mondays
Unsurprisingly, our data shows that Mondays and Tuesdays have the highest prescription renewal request volume. Patients who ran out of medication on the weekend are likely requesting their renewals right when the office opens again early in the week.
Our data indicates that you can expect to see around 35% of your refill volume on Mondays and Tuesdays alone:
If your clinic doesn't address renewal requests over the weekend, those requests pile up to be addressed on Monday as well. Additionally, pharmacies often send an automated second (or third) request as a fax when the first request isn’t acted upon in a timely manner. Therefore, you’ll also likely see a higher number of duplicates on Monday than the other days of the week. Thankfully, prescription renewal technology (like Charlie) can identify those duplicates for you, making them quick and easy to deny.
Rise and Shine
Morning lovers, rejoice! Similar to how prescription renewal requests peak early in the week, peaks can also be seen throughout the day. The majority of prescription renewal requests typically come in between 9:00-11:00 am.
Our data indicates that requests peak around 10:00-11:00 am and then fall off from there:
Knowing that the majority of prescription renewal requests come in during the morning hours can help your staff prepare for the day ahead. You can also use this pattern to your advantage! Many of your patients likely work 9-5 jobs and are hoping to pick up their medication on the way home or sometime that evening. By being prepared for the high volume of requests in the morning, you can optimize your staff to address them and make sure the patients get their medication that day, improving both compliance and satisfaction.
Using this Data
Knowing the day of the week and time of day the renewal workload will be the highest can help you better utilize your staff hours.
Consider how the following small shifts can improve your team’s efficiency:
- Proactively requesting additional staff for peak refill volume.
- When possible, encouraging staff to schedule PTO or appointments for off-peak times.
- Staggering renewal staff shifts to increase coverage.
- Having team meetings and trainings when fewer requests are expected.
Finally, keep in mind that while this data is representative of our customer population, your individual clinic may vary. Track your own volume patterns to further optimize your organization’s renewal workflows.
Day of week and time of day are not the only valuable pieces of data on prescription renewal requests! For more about the metrics you should be measuring, download our eBook, “Introduction to Prescription Refill Requests.”