We’ve got this one doctor’s office that refuses to accept prescription fax refill requests. This means we have to actually pick up the phone and call — but most of the time the phone is busy, so it takes 3 or 4 tries to actually get through. This is annoying, but not the end of the world — we fill a moderate number of prescriptions for him, but most of them seem to be antibiotics and such, with no refills.
What is disconcerting is that when we do get through to the office, a receptionist answers the phone, looks up the file while you wait, reads the prescription in question back to you, and then invariably authorizes it with two more refills. Every single time. I have no idea who this person is or what their qualifications are, but it makes me uncomfortable. Yeah, I have the refill “authorization” within 90 seconds which is nice and convenient… But who’s doing the authorizing? Is she qualified to make the decision? Is the doctor being notified? Are the charts being updated? Who is doing the monitoring? When was Mr Smith last seen in the office?
Am I going to get a phonecall later asking me how the patient is taking the medication?
Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer the black box method of requesting a refill, where a request goes out electronically, via fax, or by leaving a voicemail, and then comes back some time later either authorized or denied. This delay lets me think that the prescriber is actually, you know, looking at the patient’s chart to see what’s going on before making a decision.
I like my comfortable delusion. Even if it is a fantasy and the med in question is “just” glyburide.