(HealthDay News) — A synchronized prescription renewal process can save physicians time and money, which can be dedicated to patient care, according to a report from the American Medical Association (AMA).

The report notes that renewing all of a patient’s stable medications for 12 to 15 months can save physicians time and money. Implementing a synchronized prescription renewal process results in a decrease in the number of calls for prescription refills.

The report provides three steps for synchronizing prescription renewals. All medications for chronic illness should be renewed for the maximum duration allowed by state law at a dedicated annual visit, which provides a good opportunity for reviewing the patient’s medical history, including medications. Instructions for the pharmacy should be included on all prescription modifications and renewals, such as “do not fill until patient calls.” When a patient calls the physician’s office with a prescription renewal request, the opportunity should be taken to review all the patient’s medications for chronic conditions.

“A free online module in the AMA’s STEPS Forward collection shows you how to take steps to save time and improve care by synchronizing prescription renewal,” according to the report.

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