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Monday, December 5, 2011

Pharmacist vs. Doctor II

Pharmacist.  Magician.  Receptionist.  Thinker.  I can do it all.  Just ask every customer who tried in vain (allegedly) to reach their doctor.  Why does everyone think we can work through to their doctor faster?  

     Patient: "You need to call my doctor because I can't get through."
     Pharmacynic: "Wow.  Neither can I.  I have to call the same phone number you do.  Did you hear the magic 'pharmacists press now to have all your questions answered' prompt?"
     (Im)patient: "Well what am I supposed to do now?  You need to help me!"
     Pharmacynic: "Okay. Revolutionary thought here but bear with me.  Drive. To. Your. Doctor.  Ta-da!

I think all offices should have a dedicated Pharmacist option on their phone lines.  We have an option for doctors to leave voicemails but the most we usually get in return is a refill line.  That doesn't help if I couldn't read a prescription for someone who just left your office and is here now.  It doesn't help with any questions about interactions or answer any questions I have about the voicemail your nurse left just seconds ago.  She is apparently charged for each second she spends on the phone and can't afford to enunciate or spell anything and now I can't get her back on the phone to answer my question.  

Most doctors' lines include options for other doctors or hospitals, for making or canceling appointments, for lab work, for billing questions, a refill line (if they don't require us to fax them), a worker's compensation option, and an option to give hours, services and directions.  Why don't we rank?  If we are expected communicate frequently with these offices, we need a pharmacist-only line.  I have asked some offices if they have back lines and have occasionally been granted these numbers, but only after swearing to not share it with anyone.  Right.  There's a whole black market looking to exploit doctor's private office numbers.  

Make it easier for me to get my job done and your life will be easier as well.  Since you are already expecting me to fax all refill requests and look up the refills you are calling in to me when you have their chart, it's the least you could do.  

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