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Monday, October 7, 2013

There's a Glitch...

"Dave. What are you doing, Dave?
Whether it's HAL from 2001, A Space Odyssey or Ash from Alien, the computer is always to blame for man's demise. However, man continues to forget that man programmed the computers. Man has to do the double check for safety reasons. Pharmacists don't have the luxury of blaming the computer. Doctors however can be absolved of blame simply by invoking the "Computer Glitch" defense.

CP: Hi. This is CP calling to verify a prescription that was sent electronically.
Glitchy Office: Go ahead.
CP: It says here to take 1 tablet by mouth with the first main meal of the day, twice a day.
GO: Uh-huh.
CP: Is the patient a Hobbit?
GO: Sorry?
CP: You know, Second Breakfast?
GO: No. That's a glitch. Our system defaults to that.
CP: So you know it's a problem and your answer is "It's a glitch"?
GO: Yeah. You guys usually call us and our doctors are really busy. They figure you'll catch it.
CP: I wish you didn't have so much faith in me. I'd like to have a little faith in the prescribers but they continually erode that every day with every prescription they send me. I find it funny that the AMA considers pharmacists calling to verify prescriptions a nuisance. Apparently your office considers it "backup".
GO: What's your point?
CP: How about you call the AMA and tell them that you can't figure out your software and you're too damn cheap or lazy to call out the tech to teach you how to use it properly? Then you can ask them to pay the bill I'll send you for each prescription I have to call to verify. Better yet, how about next time I don't call? How about I just fill it and document the Rx with "office says it's a glitch and just fill it like it is because we don't have time to check our work"? I sure wish I could use that excuse as a Healthcare professional. I didn't realise "glitch" was a legal defense in this country.
Sorry, it was a glitch that caused us to dispense 10 mg of Coumadin when your doctor ordered 1mg. Oops. Damn glitches.
Sorry the patient died due to the doctor's incompetence in using his software. Sorry no one double-checked the information before it was sent to the pharmacy.
GO: Isn't that why you're there?
CP: It is. I also expect the prescribers to actually know how to prescribe. We've gone from an era of errors we couldn't read to the age of legible errors. Now we know exactly what's wrong with it. If you're going to request us to call or fax you for your patients' refill requests, then I'm going to request that all your prescriptions make sense.

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