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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Address Change

The US Postal Service offers "I'm Moving" cards for people to use to notify others that their address is changing. Doctors should use these...
We get lots of prescriptions from lots of offices. While it is ultimately up to us to try to maintain accurate records in our computers, some things may get missed. The problems arise with:
1. Doctors whose names are listed at multiple (10-20?) locations, each with its own address, phone number, fax number, etc...Are you seriously still at all of these?
2. Doctors who work at multiple hospitals during their rotations before settling down in an office outside that city...You graduated? Great. Now where are you officially practicing.
3. Doctors who leave or change practices...Didn't get along with the old partners? Bummer. Where are you now?
4. Doctors who retire or die without having the decency to tell us...The nerve!

All of these present problems for the pharmacies. When these doctors require that "the patient must contact their pharmacy to fax us a refill request" and we do not have the correct office, it can be difficult. We had faxed a refill for a patient and the office had politely scrawled "NOT AT THIS OFFICE!!!!!!!!!!!! MOVED!!!!!!NO LONGER HERE!!WASTING OUR TIME!!!!" on the fax.
Sorry. I believe a simple phone call alerting us to his change in practice would have cleared things up rather nicely. If we do not see anything from an office for a while, or the patient has not been in for over a year (lots of 90 day supplies will do that) and the doctor moved a year ago, it may still go to the old office.  Most often, the further away a doctor is from one of our stores, the less likely we are to run across many of her patients. Ergo, we are not as familiar with and less likely to be notified of any changes. Besides, we all know plenty of offices that will continue to use very old prescription blanks just because they are too cheap to destroy them and order new ones. Not helpful here.
I am sure the offices get tired of the errant faxes and e-refill requests that inundate them all day. So do we. It's no picnic calling every one of the 3 to 7 numbers we have on file to figure out where the patient was seen 3 months ago. Or who that on-call doctor, who moonlighted at the ER for 6 hours, was who saw him that one night  and no one knows where he came from originally or went after. However, most pharmacies do not move. Ever. The pharmacists may, as may the doctors, but the patients usually stay at the pharmacies. The patients come to the pharmACY, not to the pharmACIST,  but they see a DOCTOR, not an office. (Yes, some patients see whichever doctor is available--not the issue here.) When the doctor moves, we need to know.  Since you require it, if I can't find you, I can't fax you...

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