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Patient Portal and PHR Info
PHR's and Patient Portals Examined

Online Rx Refills and Renewals: 5 of 10 Critical Features of Patient Portals


In my experience a decent majority of messages being sent from patients to physicians have to do with getting an Rx refilled or changed when Rx refills and renewals are not available in the portal.  A patient portal allowing patients to directly refill or renew their meds saves physicians some work because they come in as specific items in a queue that can be worked more efficiently than when they are mixed in with general medical inquiry messages.

Having this feature keeps patients coming back and will increase overall usage of the portal.  Patients prefer to request renewals and refills online rather than calling on the phone.


In an ideal system the patient can track the refills they have available, can pick their preferred pharmacy, and will be notified via the portal when their meds are ready for pickup (unless they are delivered).   On the physician side, these requests should flow into a queue separate from general messages they get from patients so they can be quickly worked.

Questions to Ask

To Vendors

Where do the requests from patients go?

What tools are available to work the messages?

How does it integrate with pharmacy directories?

For Patients

Do my requests get passed to my pharmacy automatically?

Will I be notified when my request is processed?

What is the expected turnaround time for processing requests?

Posted by Aaron Carlock on October 23rd, 2009 :: Filed under Choosing a Patient Portal
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