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Monday, December 3, 2012

Staff Auto-Correct

In a fast-paced, noisy environment, it is our duty to ensure accuracy. This means even when others will not cooperate with us.
How do we ensure accuracy when taking verbal orders from a practitioner's staff over the phone? The easy answer is to repeat back to the nice caller, all of the prescription information they gave us. I like to take it a bit further and clarify what I heard since enunciation is often overlooked for the sake of speed when phoning prescriptions into a pharmacy.
Office Person: Calling in a prescription.
Me: Go for it.
OP: Tramadol 50mg BID for a month.
Me: Okay. So that's take one tablet two times a day?
OP: No. He wrote BID.
Me: So twice a day?
OP: No. It just says BID.
Me: Yes. BID is archaic Latin for Twice a Day. I'd like to clarify this since you mumbled and I couldn't tell if you said BID or TID. Besides, if you're in charge of phoning in prescriptions, you should have some idea as to what the secret codes are.

I also have the issue where I repeat something and then get corrected for pronouncing it correctly. If I'm trying to clarify what I heard, don't just mumble over me again. This is especially true of medications that sound alike.
OP: **sinopril 20mg.
Me: So that's LI-sinopril 20mg?
OP: No. It's ***inopril 20mg.
Me: So, FO-sinopril 20mg?

OP: That's Omeprazole 20mg.
Me: Ok. Generic for Prilosec 20mg?
OP: No. He wrote Omeprazole.
Me: Omeprazole is the generic for Prilosec. I'd like to verify this too since some prescribers like to use the generic names exclusively, regardless of if they are available in the marketplace because that's how they were taught in school and it can be confused with Esomeprazole, generic name for Nexium.

I'm not trying to correct you. I am trying to get the correct information for the patient. If you don't know the answer, please turn around and ask the doctor or another staff member for it. Then learn from it so every other pharmacist in town can benefit from our little chat today. If it is your job to call pharmacies, take the time to learn a little about what you are doing. It is a big responsibility and many of the staff with whom we interact on a daily basis are fantastic. However, there are the people outlined above I still talk to years after I became a pharmacist that have not learned anything...

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