FAQs - Physicians/Prescribers

General FAQs

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Why do some pharmacies send me faxes even though I use electronic prescribing software?

Although in most circumstances electronic prescribing can replace voice and paper-based communications with a totally electronic process, there are exceptions.

1. Have you sent at least 5 new prescriptions electronically?

Pharmacies will begin sending refill requests electronically once a prescriber sends at least five new prescriptions electronically via the Surescripts network. This is to help ensure that your practice has been trained on your e-prescribing orEMRsystem and is ready to receive and respond to refill requests electronically.

Additionally, the pharmacies need time to update their prescriber directories once they recognize that you are using your system to send new prescriptions electronically. The amount of time varies by pharmacy.

2. Is the pharmacy that faxed the refill request enabled for e-prescribing?

More than 91% of the nation's pharmacies are enabled for e-prescribing. However, pharmacies that are not yet enabled for e-prescribing will continue to fax refill requests to you. You can search for e-prescribing enabled pharmacies by using the search feature located at the top of every page on our web site.

3. Is the renewal request from a mail order pharmacy?

Although six of the largest mail order pharmacies are connected to the Surescripts network, not all e-prescribing software vendors are certified to process prescription renewal requests electronically from mail-order pharmacies. You can search for e-prescribing enabled pharmacies by using the search feature located at the top of every page on our web site.

4. Have you been responding to renewal requests within the last 24 hours?

To help ensure that patients' refill requests are processed in a timely manner, some pharmacies will automatically fax a duplicate refill request if they do not hear back from you within 24 hours.

5. Is your demographic information complete in the Surescripts Directory?

Pharmacies rely on the Surescripts directory to identify various locations where prescribers can receive Electronic Renewal Requests. If your information is incomplete or does not include all physical address locations at which you can receive renewals, pharmacies may assume you cannot e-prescribe, or cannot e-prescribe at that location, and will therefore send you a fax. Surescripts provides an online search tool that you can utilize to review your information. Your prescriber record should match the information found on your prescription forms. If it does not match, please contact your e-prescribing or EMR technology vendor to have this information corrected through your normal support desk process.

Finally, there is the chance that your individual prescriber record did not get updated correctly in the pharmacies' systems. This should be reported to your e-prescribing/EMR software vendor as soon as possible so that the pharmacies can be contacted and the problem can be investigated.  Be prepared to provide specific examples of the faxed renewal requests so a support ticket can be generated for proper research and resolution at the pharmacy level.

Download our Best Practices for the Provider Renewal Workflow