Department of Veterans Affairs

Reducing Redundancy with Refills and Renewals

All outpatient prescriptions (new, partials, renewals, refills, etc.) are dispensed with Patient Medication Information (PMI). PMI is printed information about prescription medicine provided by pharmacy to patients and should be given with ALL NEW prescriptions. This does not include Medication Guides which are required to be dispensed with certain prescription medicines that have serious and significant public health concerns. My recommendation is to dispense PMI ONLY WITH NEW prescriptions (NOT refills, renewals or partials) to reduce cost and decrease identity theft and unnecessary waste. Possible benefits include: (a) Decreased costs: For our facility, the annual costs of PMI is: app. $25,000 per year. Assuming the average prescription has 11 refills, and if no PMI was dispensed, this would equal an annual savings of app. $23,000. If 500 facilities* participated nationwide, the average annual savings could be app. $11,500,000! per year (b) Decreased risk for patient identity theft from Veterans placing Protected Personal Information (PPI) contained in PMI into non-secure trash receptacles (c) Less opportunity for PPI to be dispensed in wrong package (d) Increased productivity and patient satisfaction (e) Less paperwork decreases fill and verification time, which decreases wait time for patients = increased patient satisfaction (f) Adding voluminous amounts of papers to the information patients already receive may cause them to not read ANY of the information (g) It’s GREEN, less paperwork = positive impact on the environment (h) Not required by the FDA!

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Idea No. 9899