Back in 2010, Berkowitz was speaking on this very topic at the Mayo Clinic's invitation on how EMRs could make doctors' lives easier. In the audience were two young aspiring consultants who got so excited about a mock-up Berkowitz was showing, they proposed a new company to put actions behind Berkowitz's philosophy and inspiration. Thus was born Healthfinch. Berkowitz is chairman and chief medical officer and leaves the day-to-day operation to his partners.
Today, Healthfinch ties into most popular EMRs and runs prescription refill requests through a Web service, making it simple for physicians to delegate those refill requests to nurses and other medical office support staff.
At Elmhurst Clinic, based in nearby Elmhurst, Ill., one physician using the Healthfinch service is seeing real productivity gains. He sees less than half the refill request messages he used to see, according to Elmhurst Clinic CEO Donald Lurye, MD, MMM, CPE.
"The management of refills is a major activity, particularly in primary care where you're dealing with a lot of people with multiple chronic illnesses, that can have complicated prescription regimens and necessarily so," Lurye tells HealthLeaders Media.
"Dealing with refill requests sounds simple but it isn't. Many times, there's a need for a physician taking a look at a chart to decide whether a refill is appropriate. It can involve checking to see whether various types of follow-up have occurred, or whether certain lab tests have been done in a timely manner, that either just need to be done for monitoring or should be there to guide the therapy."