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How one physician network streamlines prescription renewals

California-based St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare, an Allscripts TouchWorks® EHR client, is experiencing the benefits of streamlined clinical workflows from working with Allscripts Developer Program partner, healthfinch, and implementing its prescription renewal delegation solution.

With close to 40,000 medication renewal requests to process each month, Heritage needed a technology solution that would enable existing staff to be more efficient and increase capacity. Doing so would enable them to expand the services of their centralized renewal team, the Heritage Contact Center, to service a broader group of physicians in multiple regions and specialties.

Enter healthfinch’s prescription renewal delegation engine, Charlie, which is the Allscripts App of the Month for October 2019. With Charlie, staff are now able to complete up to 200 renewal requests per 8-hour shift, a threefold increase from pre-implementation efficiency. Additionally, the prescription renewal delegation rate has increased from 50% to 65%, which gives clinic staff more time to operate at the top of their license and focus on patient care.

Charlie integrates with TouchWorks to streamline prescription renewal workflows, saving health systems significant time and expense. Its combination of technology, protocol content and optimization services enables safe delegation of prescription renewals from providers to staff. This helps reduce provider burnout caused by excessive administrative or off-hours work.

Each renewal request is cross-referenced with the appropriate evidence-based protocol, so staff instantly knows if a medication is safe to renew, needs additional review, or needs follow-up. As a result, health systems also see improved quality metrics and higher compliance when using Charlie.

“To fully operationalize a centralized refill service, it was imperative that we adopt a standardized set of refill protocols for all primary care physicians to follow. Through a consensus process with clinical leadership, our medical director ultimately signed off on a set of protocols now followed across the organization,” said Renee Voll, former Executive Director, Patient Experience and Contact Center at Heritage. The healthfinch Customer Success team helped facilitate these consensus discussions, provided guidance and identified opportunities for further efficiency improvements.

The Heritage Contact Center now processes the prescription renewal requests for 280 providers across six ministries under Providence St. Joseph Health Care. In addition to being able to support so many providers, it has seen a reduction in turnaround time and a significant increase in the closing of care gaps – all of which would be challenging at this scale without Charlie.

Turnaround time prior to using Charlie could have taken as long as 72 hours. Now, requests can be completed in as quickly as 12 hours, which has a positive impact on patient satisfaction.

Charlie also enables technicians to take a more proactive role in closing care gaps associated with medication refills. With each renewal request, Charlie identifies missed labs, visits and other monitoring that needs to be completed in the next 90 days. Outstanding items can then be scheduled, improving patient safety and compliance. With care gaps addressed, the patient’s next refill request will also be categorized as “In Protocol,” which enables it to be processed quickly without the need for further follow-up.

Register here for a healthfinch webinar on Oct. 29 at 12 p.m. CT to learn more about Charlie and hear directly from St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare about its experiences.

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