How to Call in a Prescription

In health care, you may find that frequently doctors will offer to call in prescriptions for their patients. If you are the person who is responsible for completing this task, then there are some basics you will need to know when calling in a prescription to save time for yourself, the pharmacist and the patient. Unless it is a special prescription, most pharmacies have voice mail options on which to leave the prescription information.

Speak slowly when you are leaving your message. You want to make sure that the person listening will be able to understand what you are saying.

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Speak the patient's full name. This means the first name and last name. Including the spelling of it is very important in preventing mistakes.

Speak the patient's date of birth. If there is a common name such as Joe Smith, the wrong Joe Smith may get the prescription.

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Speak the name of the medication that you are trying to order. If you are unsure of the medication, then say it and spell it out. Make sure to include the strength of the medication and how many time this medicine is allowed to be refilled.

Mention the quantity that needs to be ordered for a refill, based on how often the patient is going to be taking this medication. It should be enough for a 30-day supply.

Give concise directions on how the patient is supposed to take the medicine. For example, take two times a day before meals.

Give the doctor's name who is requesting this medication be filled. While most doctor's names may sound common, the spelling may not be, so spell out the doctor's name as well.

Leave your name and office phone number; this way, if any questions arise you can be contacted and the prescription can be clarified.


Speaking slowly and clearly is the key to preventing mistakes. Don't leave several patients' prescriptions on one voice mail; give them one at a time. Make sure that the patient has used the pharmacy before. This will save time on everyone's behalf.