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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Answering Service

It must be nice...
The only thing harder than trying to track down a prescriber is...
Anyway, with the exception of 24 hour pharmacies and hospitals, most of us in the healthcare world have to deal with Hours of Operation. Most pharmacies are open 9-9, 8-10, or some other variant of a long day. Most prescriber offices are open 8-4:30, 9-5, or something along these lines. We all arrive early to get a jump start on the day. However, the problem I have is with places that close early. As you can guess, I have yet to meet a pharmacist who says "yep. work's all done. no more appointments scheduled. let's go home at 7 instead of 9 tonight and roll the phones over to the answering service". This means I am picking on the offices.

I called and left a message with an office that had written a prescription for Brimonidine. That's it. No strength. Patient came in at 3:44 screaming that she was without her drops and the office was still open so call them back!

I patiently listened to the office's machine: "We are open daily from 9am to 4pm..." I thought, this is good. It is only 3:44. Then the phone rolled to the answering service.

Answering Service Staff: This is the A.S.S. How may we help you?
CP: Wow. I thought they were open until 4pm. It's only 3:44. I was hoping to get an answer to a question I had on my patient's prescription.
ASS: They're not in.
CP: Yes, but since they're supposedly open until 4pm, and it's not quite yet that time, I was optimistically thinking you may be able to reach their back line. I was hoping they may have recently switched their phones over to you and may still be playing cleanup over there.
ASS: No.
CP: Do they pay you per word? Seriously, so what time did they actually roll their phones over to you today?
ASS: At 3pm.
CP: So a full hour early? Does that not bother you that you get to do more work because they thought it was acceptable to just shut down an hour early for the day? Don't you wish you could return the favour? Perhaps roll their phones back to them earlier in the morning or at lunchtime?
ASS: No.
CP: Wow. Perhaps you should just work in the office. Your attitude seems the perfect fit. I understand why the patient sees them now.

Patient: Well?
CP: Sorry, the office closed an hour early today.
Patient: So? I brought this to you last night. It's your fault I can't see now.
CP: Yep. Even though this was written last week and even though your office posts a closing time of 4pm and they left an hour early, and I called them at 8:34 this morning and had to leave a message they did not return, explain to me how this is my fault. Go on. Explain to me how it's my problem. You need to find a better doctor...and a better attitude.

1 comment:

  1. I feel your pain...

    Last week I had an Rx for Levaquin #10, 1 TID. No answer at the doc's office (and it was clearly way before 5pm) and then NO ANSWER from the answering service! And then no patience from the patient!

    Holy deadly Rx scripts, Batman!