Non-Urgent Prescription Policy

Non-Urgent Prescription Policy

It essential for healthcare providers to have policies on how to handle non-urgent from non-urgent prescriptionrequests. Generally, provision for anon-urgent patient request is often pursuant to certain protocols, which target to safeguard the provider and patient safety. Non-urgent requests are inevitable in themedical profession, clinical review and update of protocols are thus essential for good practice (Garth et al. 2014). The improvement strategy should include

  1. Identifying the non-urgent medications such as allergy, contraceptives, and acne.
  2. Identifications of medications that require approval
  3. Timeline for addressing the request
  4. A guideline for monitoring patients

Keeping in mind that laws on prescription may vary between states and change with time, it is important to refer to regulations of the licensing board to ensure concurrence with the rules in the regions. When using a protocol, considerations to the risks of delayed requests are important; the disadvantage of protocol in non-urgent medication is that they may bypass opportunities to maximize on preventive care thus placing a patient at risk (Garth et al. 2014). The importance of maintaining quality in prescription is well documented, an error in prescription deemed non-urgent may lead to compounded risk (Swinglehurst, Greenhalgh, Russell & Myall, 2011).Thus, policies should apply the non-urgent rule on prescription only after a face-to-face examination to determine the status of the patient, often categorizing refill prescription that does not pose asignificant risk to the patient as non-urgent (Swinglehurst, Greenhalgh, Russell & Myall, 2011). The hospital staff are responsible for ensuring patient safety even in a situation of thenon-urgent need of medication; the baseline of the policy is to underpin the responsibility assigned to providers.


Garth, B, Temple-Smith M, Clark M, Hutton C & Deveny, E. (2014). ‘Your lack of organization doesn’t constitute our emergency’ – repeat prescription management in general practice. Australian Family Physician43(6), 404-408.

Swinglehurst, D., Greenhalgh, T., Russell, J., & Myall, M. (2011). Receptionist input to quality and safety in repeat prescribing in UK general practice: anethnographic case study. BMJ343.


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