Mary Kroll, R.N. and Mary Brunett, R.N. address commonly asked questions regarding requesting prescription refills via the phone at MHNI.
When calling the Institute, what information should a patient have ready?
The following information should be available when calling the Institute regarding a clinical matter:
- The date of a patient’s last and next appointment with MHNI
- The name of the patient ’s MHNI physician(s)
- A list of the patient’s current medications, their dosages, and when they are taken
- Any new medical problem or treatment since the patient’s last visit to MHNI
- A list of any questions the patient wants to ask
When is the best time to call?
Midweek days are a good time to call. Monday mornings or Friday afternoons should be avoided if possible, as the clinical calls to MHNI are exceptionally heavy during those periods.
What guidelines should I keep in mind when calling about prescription refills?
To assure safety and promote availability of the MHNI system to address urgent calls, the following guidelines are recommended:
Patients are encouraged to call MHNI to report a new symptom, side effect, or significant change in their headache or pain pattern. Severe pain which has not responded to treatment is also appropriate to report. Clinical staff will address these issues as efficiently and promptly as they are able by phone and in a manner that assures the patient’s safety and satisfaction as much as possible. Generally, a full evaluation at MHNI or by a patient’s local doctor will be recommended.
Treatment programs cannot be changed over the telephone. Although dose levels of medication may be adjusted, in general, medication changes will be managed only during appointments at MHNI.
At the time of an appointment, a patient will be provided with prescriptions for enough medication to last until their next return visit. It is important to schedule each visit within the time recommended by the MHNI physician in order to ensure adequate prescription supplies. Prescription refills will be provided at return visits and generally not by telephone.
Patients using medicine with habituation potential or using the upper limits of abortive medication require close and frequent medical supervision. Extending these prescriptions by telephone between visits is not generally possible.
Beyond regular office hours, an assigned on-call physician can be reached through the Institute’s answering service by calling (734) 786-4366. For urgent matters, MHNI’s answering service will contact the on-call physician who will return a patient’s call as soon as possible. The on-call physician will not have medical records available after hours, and therefore treatment recommendations are limited. The on-call physician should be contacted for urgent calls only; non-urgent calls should be directed to MHNI during regular business hours.