'Your lack of organisation doesn't constitute our emergency' - repeat prescription management in general practice

Belinda Garth, Meredith Temple-Smith, Malcolm Clark, Cathy Hutton, Elizabeth Deveny, Ruby Biezen, Marie Pirotta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The importance of quality and safety in repeat prescribing is well documented, but few studies have examined how practices manage urgent requests for repeat prescriptions and why patients require them urgently. Methods: Twenty practice staff (receptionists, practice managers, general practitioners, practice nurse) from 10 general practices participated in semi-structured interviews, which were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed thematically. Results: Requests for same-day appointments for patients needing repeat prescriptions emerged as problematic for most clinics in our study. Reasons included convenience, lost prescriptions and running out of medication. Clinics gave patients appointments, left prescriptions for collection at reception or ran prescription clinics. A need emerged for GPs to support individual clinic policy on repeat prescriptions. Discussion: Many urgent requests for repeat prescriptions are avoidable. Improvements are needed in the way repeat prescriptions are managed, pointing to a closer examination of general practice systems, the role of practice staff, pharmacists and patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)404-408
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Family Physician
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Drugs
  • Education
  • General practice
  • Health
  • Patient education
  • Prescriptions

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