You might have noticed that there is a category in the Prescription Builder called “Duration”. Prescriptions can be set to expire by date. When the expiration date arrives, the prescription is no longer available to the patient. Instead of their program they are shown a screen that tells them that their prescription has expired and to call you if they need help. Below is a screen shot of an expired prescription.
It is easy to set the start and expiration dates for a prescription by opening the Duration tab when you are setting up the prescription. The start date, end date and number of days are shown.
Today’s date is automatically selected for the start date. You can change it by clicking the select button and clicking the desired date on the calendar. The end date can be selected in the same way – by clicking on the desired date on the calendar (below) or by entering the number of days. If you enter the number of days, the end date is automatically calculated for you.
On the calendar, click the white arrow in the upper right corner to advance the month or the white dot in the upper left to go back to the current month. Dark gray days are not available (they are in the past), lighter gray are in the next month (and are selectable). The current day is outlined.
There is another parameter that affects availability of a prescription: the “Grace Period”. The Grace Period is a configurable number of days that a prescription is available to the patient after the expiration date. It allows for schedules to change without having to worry about the prescription expiring. It is common to have a patient miss an appointment or otherwise have to re-schedule. If they are not able to come in to the clinic as scheduled, you might want them to continue with their exercises until they can. The Grace Period allows for extra time for just these circumstances. In other words, if you set the expiration to be on the 10th and have a grace period of five days, the prescription will not expire until the 15th.
You can configure the Grace Period as well as the default Duration under the Preferences tab. If you don’t ever want to set a duration, you can also set – by default – “Use Maximum Duration” which will automatically make the prescription available for a year (366 days). See Prescription Builder, Duration under the Help tab for more information on durations and setting preferences.
Why would you want to set an expiration date? For most patients you probably don’t want them doing the same exercises forever. When they are active patients, you also probably want to see them on a regular basis. You are likely to want them to change what they are doing after each clinic visit. Expiring prescriptions are a way to keep them from deciding that they can just do those exercises forever and it encourages them to call you to get an update (including, if appropriate, another clinic visit).