Table 7.

Best Method for Each Step

Steps in the Prescription Refill ProcessBest Method
Step 1. Patient access to the systemPatients should contact the pharmacy first when a refill is needed.
Step 2. Communication with the pharmacyCommunication should be by FAX and initiated by the pharmacy.
Step 3. Decision-makingLeast costly method is to have nurse or medical assistant make decisions regarding refills. Training with the physician, including feedback regarding decisions will improve accuracy. Written protocols were associated with increased error rates.
Step 4. Notification of the patientThe pharmacy should notify the patient regarding the prescription refill decision.
Step 5. DocumentationShould be done by the decision-maker at the time of the decision. An EMR can make this more efficient.