Facebook and Twitter

and follow my blog on Twitter @pharmacynic to receive notifications on new posts.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Policy Impasse

What do you do if your policy conflicts with another party's policy?
Throw a fit? Cry like a baby? Send capital-letter faxes, essentially shouting at someone?
Most pharmacies have the policy where they "fax your doctor for your refill request". It's a courtesy, but most places offer this.
Many prescribers require pharmacies to only fax requests (e-requests go automatically, but that's different.)
What do you do when you receive a fax telling you you won a trip to the Bahamas? Or your information is wanted for the next Who's Who publication? Trash it. Throw it away. Discard it. To the rubbish heap with it, post haste!
But what if you are a prescriber? What if your policy is to not accept faxed requests? You do this:

"Attention. We are no longer accepting faxed refill requests. Please have patient call the office for refills."

Hmm. I just sent you a fax alerting you to a patient of yours who is out of medication and needs it from you. Would it not be prudent to contact said patient yourself to schedule their appointment with your office? It seems rather circuitous to fax me to have me call the patient to tell them to call you, don't you think?

Also, I assume you have this posted conspicuously in multiple places around your office? I assume you sent letters to all your patients notifying them of this policy change? I assume you are not relying solely on me and my competitor colleagues to spread the word for you?

Do you have a trash can in your office? Perhaps a HIPAA-delegated receptacle? Use it. Rather than wasting my time, and yours, faxing this back to me, devote your energy to dropping it into this bin. Gravity will actually do most of your work for you.

But since I'm making points here, wouldn't it be just as easy to sign the fax I gave you, and instead of sending me a letter telling me you no longer accept faxed refill requests, you could have faxed me that refill request? Simple. Fast. No phone calls. No extra work. Everyone is happy.

I know. Silly, right?

1 comment:

  1. Thank You for this one. Now we are not only the customer's personal assistant. We are the unpaid clerical staff for the Doctor's office as well. These are the circumstances under which I am glad for the MAIL ORDER Pharmacy requirement imposed! Especially after the last expired refill caused us to "lend" ( ahem ) the impatient a "few" until their mail arrived. And I can tell them to have their Doctor's office fax their "Pharmacy" and have a nice day.