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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Doctors and Faxes

More fun at work...
Yesterday I received a reply fax from a doctor's office; a rather sizable clinic not especially nearby. It said "In an effort to promote patient safety, we will no longer accept faxed refill requests from pharmacies". I decided to have a little fun and send them a fax that says "In an effort to make everyone happy, we will no longer accept faxed requests to stop faxed requests. We will only accept certified letters addressed specifically to each pharmacist and technician, by name, currently employed at this location. Thank you for your efforts in this matter as we try to prioritize our time and resources. All future faxes will be ignored."

I'm thinking another option would be this:

"Dear favourite local office. Due to the overwhelmingly popular craze of doctors requiring, even mandating, that pharmacies are responsible for faxing refill requests on behalf of their patients, I find it unreasonable and impossible at this time to comply with your request. I have attached a list of the offices who have this as part of their outgoing message. Please feel free to contact every single one of them and get them to change their policies. When that is accomplished, we will be able to honour your request to not fax you for refills."
Also, please explain how you are "promoting patient safety" by not accepting refill requests. Had you simply said "in an effort to get recognized as a Green company we are trying to save paper", I may have bought it. Last time I checked, many offices have a HIPAA trash receptacle where these faxes could get "filed". It's the same place I file the blast faxes notifying me I won an all expense paid trip to the Bahamas or I've made the Who's Who List...again. (I am quite successful as I've made the list almost every day for as long as I've been a pharmacist!)
You have a trash can. Use it!

Do you also go through your spam folder and reply to all the Canadian Pharmacy and Dr. Oz miracle ads in an effort to stop them from clogging your inbox? No. It's called a "delete" button. Click it.

I also love that the faxed letter included a note, along with the list of 50-odd prescribers, that some of them may, or may not, at some point, possibly in the future, be getting a new technology, currently known as electronic-prescribing. Maybe. They think this may be revolutionary and make the refill process easier. Yep. Welcome to the phuture...

1 comment:

  1. I hate those offices. If we're going to be responsible for getting patients refills on their medications (which, face it, we are, because lord knows they're not going to take responsibility for it themselves) why do I also have to be responsible for keeping track of which offices don't accept faxes, only accept faxes, don't do refills except at on office visit, accept phone requests, but only from patients, or will take any kind of request, but NOT from patients, only from the pharmacy.
    I also don't understand how any type of request hinders patient safety. Shouldn't the office be checking the request against the patient's chart regardless of how it's sent to verify the info and when they were last seen?