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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Houston, We Have a Problem

Is it ironic that Led Zeppelin's Communication Breakdown was playing on my XM radio when I got in my car to drive home after work? Here's the story.
Phone rings and Super-Tech answers it.
ST: CP Pharmacy, how may I help you?
Flustered Patient: Did my doctor call in yet?
ST: No, ma'am. Not yet.
FP: They said they faxed you all morning and have been trying to call.
ST: I am sorry but we have nothing.
FP: Ok. I shall try them again.

<a couple hours later>
FP: I just had them on the line. They say that when they send the fax, it comes back to them as an error and it won't go through.
ST: I just checked our fax machine. It has plenty of paper in it and we have been receiving a pretty steady stream since we opened this morning. Perhaps it's user error?
FP: They also said they have been calling you all day and the line just keeps ringing.
ST: Silly question. Are we talking right now?
FP: Of course.
ST: Good. Then it is safe for me to assume that my phone is receiving calls and working. Phew. One problem down.
FP: I just had them on a 3-way call when they tried to reach you and I heard it ringing.
ST: Silly question #2. Did you hear what number they dialed?
FP: Of course not. Can you please call them and ask for Wonderful Nurse?
ST: I shall put my pharmacist on it post haste!

CP: <gets the phone menu with no option for WN>
(I called back for a total of 3 calls and left messages under each mailbox since there were no options for "Live Human Being".)
This is CP calling for FP. I was told you were having issues reaching us today. If I can call you just fine, and the patient can call me just fine, it must be something on your end. But that is neither here nor there. Since it appears this is of great import to the patient, it is Friday at 5:01 pm after all, I hope you get this message. My suggestion to you would be to have someone in the office use her cell phone to call me. This way, the patient's needs are met and we all can have a happy weekend.

<10 minutes later my voicemail alerts me to a message>
WN: Hi. This is WN calling in for FP. Apparently we haven't been able to reach you all day. I had to grab her information and I'm calling from my cell phone as I drive home.

CP: <calling FP> I don't know why they didn't think of this first, but apparently someone heard my message and called from her cell phone so I received your prescription and it's filled and ready for you to pick up this evening.
FP: You are fantastic. Thank you so much for all your effort. I don't know what their problem was and why they were so difficult.
CP: It was our relentless teamwork, and a little bit of charm.

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