Pass the Buck. That's the motto. At least in the doctors' offices. I loathe the "Do Not Fill Until..." dates written on prescriptions. I especially do not like the ones on phoned-in prescriptions. You couldn't just file it away until next week?
Average Customer: But why? When they are so helpful and tell you when to fill it?
CP: First, patients will argue that the doctor can't do math. This is quite often the case where doctors can't figure out how many days are in a month and the onus is on me to get the doctor to change it while the patient stares me down. Second, if it's beyond a few days, like say, 2 months out, what happens to the Rx? Sure we can scan it into the computer and put it in the queue for that specific day. But what about those stores that cannot? How do they file it? Now the burden is on the pharmacy to remember when it is supposed to be filled. If we forget the exact date? Pharmacy is in trouble and gets yelled at. If it's not ready as soon as we open that day? Our fault. If it gets lost or is denied by the insurance? Our fault again. Why can't doctors just phone it in the day it's due? Or perhaps the day before?
AC: Good questions CP! Now teach me, O Wise One...
CP: For the same reasons I outlined above. They pass the buck. If they forget to phone it in, it's their fault. If they phone it in and someone loses it? Oh well. Not their problem. Perhaps the patient was in that day and the office is completing all of the work so they can file the chart. Perhaps.
Solution: I think I'm going to flip the tables on them. From now on, when I send refill requests to the offices, I'm going to add a "Do Not Refill Until..." date on all of them. This way, they will have to send them to me only on the dates I requested. I'll have a printed message that reads "Pharmacy requests that you do not approve and return the refill request until xx/xx/xxxx. If sent prior to this date, it will be destroyed and pharmacy reserves the right deny receipt of any and all refill requests and will instruct patient to contact their office directly for new prescriptions."
Sounds fair. Maybe I'll direct my outgoing phone message to say "Thank You for calling CP. We ask that all refill requests be e-scripted by your doctor. Please contact him directly and tell him to adopt this amazing new technology. We no longer accept written or phoned-in prescriptions. Your doctor has fully agreed to this as we are a healthcare team. Seriously. They agreed to it. My message says so..."