FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Lyster Army Health Clinic Pharmacy's recent improvements and updated services resulted in reducing average patient wait times to four to 12 minutes, officials said.

Changes include various prescription refill methods and practices, and mail order services, according to Martha Frausto, LAHC patient advocate and public affairs officer.

When establishing or refilling prescriptions at the clinic, patients must obtain tickets from a machine located in front of the pharmacy windows. Pharmacy customers push buttons A, B or C to have appropriate paper tickets printed by the machine, and wait until their numbers are called.
The A, B and C categories indicate separate patient groups, and customers should be sure to choose the ones applicable to them, said Lt. Col. Shawn Parsons, Department of Pharmacy chief.

Category A is established for active-duty Soldiers, in or out of uniform, he said. They may pick up medications for themselves and Family members, but must have ID cards or copies of cards for any dependents not present. Black and white copies should be made of the front and back of each card.

"The point of (Category A) is to get the active-duty people out of the clinic as quick as possible," Parsons said.

Family members or retirees whose prescriptions were written by LAHC staff should choose Category B tickets.

Category C tickets are for individuals who have prescriptions written by off-post referral physicians, Parsons said. C is also for anyone else not falling under categories A or B.

The ideal time to visit the pharmacy is around 8 a.m., to expedite the process, Frausto noted. Wait periods increase around noon.

"Patient satisfaction is very important to us, and we are striving to improve (service)," Frausto said. "We welcome comments for further improvements."

Patients can refill prescriptions by calling 255-7178. Those wishing to refill prescriptions by mail should obtain mail-in refill cards, distributed by physicians and pharmacy staff, Parsons said. Off-post physicians' offices may fax in non-narcotic prescriptions at 255-7176.

There is also an online mail order option available at Beneficiaries outside the medical treatment facility's service area utilize this service, Parsons said.

Medicines through mail orders are dispensed in 90-day increments, so patients should ask doctors about having proper prescriptions written for this supply length. New prescriptions take two to three weeks to fill using this option. Orders are free for Soldiers. The fees Family members pay vary.

Eliminating trips to Lyster by using these options saves patients time waiting and driving, officials noted.

Pharmacy hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every weekday except Wednesday. The facility is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Wednesdays.

For more information regarding services, call 255-7178.