It is, at its most basic, a simple concept.
Go to doctor.
Receive diagnosis and prescription.
Take prescription to pharmacy.
Go home and take prescription.
Refills run out, go back to doctor to restart process.
Do Not Skip Steps.
Simple. Then how can it get so complicated? I offer the following as a lesson, a testament, to how wickedly awry the system can go. It is only one example. I have examined many others ad nauseum this week. One more won't be beating the dead horse...
Office Caller Inner: <on voicemail> Patient needs Lisinopril 10mg, 2 tabs BID with 2 refills. The old Rx# is 8675309 (nudge nudge)
CP: <calling back> First, there was no quantity. Second, your message said he takes 2 tabs twice a day. The Rx# you gave me was for his last refill last month which had him taking 1 tablet twice a day.
CP: Sorry. I felt the question was implied and I needn't've actually asked it. I was hoping you could infer from the factual statements that something was amiss.
COI: Hold on.
CP: <patiently singing It's the End of the World by R.E.M in my head>
COI: It's once a day.
CP: And how did we arrive at that in the 7 minutes I was on hold?
COI: "Yeah, the wife had it wrong." <her exact quote>
CP: Sorry? You mean to tell me that the wife called in the refill to your office. She gave you what she THOUGHT were the correct directions and then you phoned them in that way?! Did you not think to actually look them up to compare them? Did you not verify the patient is actually, oh I don't know, still taking this drug? This dose? I guess I can randomly call in my refills to your office for whatever I want and just make up dosing because I know you're not checking it. That instills confidence in me. Unfortunately, this just reaffirms what I already thought about your office which is why I never refer anyone to you. Ever. What's worse is that you kept me on hold to call her back to double check with THE WIFE instead of pulling the chart. The chart which is located in your office. Fortunately for you, I did MY due diligence.