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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It Says Consultation

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign...do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?

No. People cannot read them. If they can, they choose not to read them. It is far easier to interrupt someone than to look for something on your own. With that being said, it is quite obvious there is no patience anymore. We are a harried, hurried lot. Protocols and decorum are not meant to be followed.
Lines at businesses are just a suggestion. If you wish to push your way ahead of other people for what you feel is a simple question, then you march your ass right to the front and ask away.

Most pharmacies have designated points, yes, marked with signs, that guide people to:
A. Drop-off,
B. Pick-up,
C. Consultation.

I believe the most common design flaw with this is that the Consultation Window is often too near the pharmacist or another workstation. This invites the Everyday Patient to stroll on up to the window, lean across the counter, and bellow "I just have  a question".
I am certain you do. That is the point of this point of access. Questions. Consultations. However, it does not mean stick your head in my window or sit on my counter and start talking to me as if I am Santa and the counter is my lap. I am on the phone. I am checking prescriptions. If it were your phone call or your prescriptions, would you not want me to be focused solely on you?

It's like walking into a bank, seeing a line of customers, then strolling to the front right next to the first person and saying "I just have a question". That's not how it works.

I think we need to redesign these areas. My first thought is that they need to be on a separate wall of the pharmacy, a wall which a pharmacist will need to move to in order to provide counseling. My second thought is that we should have a glass partition with a speaker. We could set it up like a movie theatre ticket booth or a prison visitation centre. The pharmacist would have to turn on the microphone, or pick up the phone and the patient would talk into the speaker or the phone on his side. Brilliant!


1 comment:

  1. We have gone so far as having a face level sign saying "if you wish to speak to the pharmacist, please give your name at the other counter" at our consultation booth but it only stops the nice people who read signs. It does nothing for the people who don't pay attention to begin with