Q: Why am I not receiving electronic refills from the pharmacies that automatically match with the patients in SOAPware?
A: Electronic refill requests are an evolving phenomenon which involves work flow and software changes from both the pharmacy and the clinic. Due to limitations of technology linking clinics to pharmacies, the pharmacy has to send refill requests in a fashion that is different from past methods. Specifically, for automatic matching of the request to a patient, the request has to be directly derived from the original prescription that was sent electronically to the pharmacy.
Many pharmacies do not yet have the software that can store the original prescription electronically. In fact, more often than not, the pharmacy is actually working with a fax machine, rather than an electronic transfer of information. In time, the software that pharmacists use and the standard for sharing prescription information, will allow for increased direct electronic transfer of prescription information, so that fewer steps are necessary from both the pharmacy and the clinic.
A major limitation to efficiency, at present, is the lack of any unique identifiers for patients. It is now illegal to use Social Security numbers. Currently, the only means to uniquely identify (match) patients with prescriptions, is to use the original identifier associated with the initial prescription sent from the clinician to the pharmacy.
*If a clinician is receiving no refill requests that automatically match to patient charts, there may be a discrepancy between the prescriber information sent from SOAPware, and what Surescripts has on file for a clinician.