General Psychiatry and Imaging Research

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Prescription refills

I do not respond to requests for prescription refills from pharmacies because I always want to talk to the patient first. Asking pharmacy staff to fax or call in refill requests only wastes your time and theirs.

When patients call in for refills out of session I see it as a red flag that something has gone wrong. I believe that anytime people call for refills out of session that a medication error has occurred, and I want to be proactive about preventing medication errors, which can lead to serious harm. I feel that whatever problem which led to the medication error needs to be addressed and fixed, not ignored or swept under the rug.


I want to do all prescriptions refills during your session. There are six good reasons for this policy:

  • Prescription refills outside your session are due to:
    • errors on my part or the pharmacy's part,
    • some error in the way you take your prescriptions,
    • the timing of your appointments,
    • a failure on your part to keep up with your refills, or
    • a discrepancy between what I think you are taking and what you are really taking.
  • The error rate on prescriptions that are called or faxed in is significantly higher than those which are handled during your session. Within the field of medicine, there is a big push to avoid medical errors. All errors due to telephone or fax mis-communications are reduced by not doing refills by telephone or fax. Also, if there is an error in the communication between me and your pharmacist, there is no way to find out which one of us has made a mistake.
  • If your medication dose needs adjustment, it makes much more sense to talk about this during your session than to make a rushed decision over the phone with incomplete information.
  • Calling for prescriptions outside your session wastes your time,
  • Calling for prescriptions outside your session wastes my time,
  • I am not set up to provide paperwork services on the days that I am not in my practice office, so many times a refill out of session is not feasible. I regret that I am not able to provide 24/7 paperwork services, but I do not plan on raising my overhead (and my fees) so that could happen. I would rather charge people who require this kind of service a fee rather than raising my rates for everyone.

If you need me to fill prescriptions outside your session, I consider this service to be emergency paperwork and my minimum fee for this service is the charge for 15 minutes of my time.

If you are out of a prescription because of changes I made between one of your sessions and the next, I will refill medications outside your session without charge. However, if you have run out of medication because you missed or rescheduled your appointment, you will need to pay the emergency paperwork fees.

practice/refills.txt · Last modified: 2012/03/05 18:26 by patrickbarta