We do not want you to run out of your medications, so please contact us in advance of running out.

In general, refills are an easy process if you are a current patient, have not missed appointments, and have a follow up appointment on file.

Here are the best ways to request a medication refill:

1) Ask for the refill at the time of your appointment.

This is always the best time. Your doctor can review and discuss the refill with you, and determine if any adjustments need to be made, such as a change of dose, or a change of medication. Sometimes a decision can be made to stop the medicine. This is a great way to initiate the discussion at the visit. Simply tell the nurse when you are placed in the exam room that you need refills today. This prevents you from needing refills later, so this saves everyone time.

2) Call your pharmacy and ask them to 'Send Doctor {fill in name here} an electronic refill request by Surescripts'.

This is by far the fastest method.  We receive refill requests continuously during the day, and they appear directly on our screens when we recieve them. Our software matches the pharmacy request to your records, and we can quickly verify whether the refill is appropriate. Our office then sends back the approval by a secure internet link, and your pharmacy will see the approval.

We will almost always refill within 1 business day, and if we receive the refill request during the day it may be less than 1 hour.

These requests are usually the first ones that we see, and first ones to be approved when we get in to the office each morning.

3) Send us a refill request via our patient portal.  

This is a good way to ask for refills if your pharmacy isn't open.  You will need your AMS Patient Portal user name and password, and log into www.amspatients.com .

Please note which doctor wrote the prescription so our staff can route it to the right person, and also tell us how many refills you are requesting and which pharmacy needs to get the prescription.

4) Call the office by telephone.

The front office will take a message and route your request to the appropriate nurse as a telephone encounter. Telephone encounters include multiple possible types of requests for the nurses. Due to the workflow process, it may take a little longer to respond, since these requests are mixed in with more complicated telephone issues coming from other patients.

Since it requires more processing time for our nurses and doctors, some offices charge for refills by phone.

Ways that we don't recommend:

a) Having the pharmacy send us a fax.

Faxes are quite slow to process relative to the other methods for us.  We have found pharmacies, especially the mail order pharmacies, tend to request drugs by fax that our patients no longer take. There appears to be pharmacy software that automatically requests refills by fax, even for discontinued drugs. These are called  'pharmacy fax-bots'.

Since we get many inappropriate or junk fax refill requests, we spend extra time researching the requests. Many of our doctors have notified the pharmacies that they will not respond to fax refill requests. Even so, the pharmacy may tell you that they sent us a fax, even when they haven't, which can cause further confusion and delay.

Since we have better and faster methods, don't let your pharmacy send us a fax.

b) Having the pharmacy call for a verbal order.

While the concept of the pharmacist and doctor chatting about your health sounds great on the surface, it actually is the method most prone to medication errors. We have found that almost 10% of our thyroid replacement verbal orders were transcribed incorrectly, either with the incorrect dose, the incorrect product, or a generic was inappropriately substituted.

When being called after hours, the doctor may not be able to access your record if they are at the hospital or driving a car. They may not be able to review your record when responding to the refill.

Your health is important to us, and we don't like any errors.  Some of our doctors will not refill meds over the phone for this reason. It's not that they are trying to be difficult - far from it. They want to verify the medication first, and they want a well documented refill request in your chart. If they expect to be able to review the refill requests soon, they may ask the pharmacist to submit the refill electronically, and they will approve the refill once they see the request.