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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Moving Right Along

Prescribers often have multiple office locations. Some will switch practices from time to time. This presents a problem for us in the pharmacy world. Where do we find them?
Are you a patient of the OFFICE or of the PRESCRIBER? Good question. Here's why.

Won't Help Myself: Please call my office for refills.
CP: We faxed them.
WHM: Thanks.
CP: We heard back from the office. They say your doctor moved to another practice.
WHM: Call them.
CP: We did. They said that since you haven't established yourself as a patient there that they can't authorise any refills.
WHM: But I'm out. I need them.
CP: Okay. Who's your actual prescriber? Are you going to continue to go to the old practice where your records are and see a different prescriber or will you follow your old prescriber to his new office?
WHM: I don't know. You call them and get my refills. <click>

Why do the offices send back our faxes with notes like: "Prescriber moved. No longer here." if the patient is the OFFICE's patient? It's not my job to keep track of where every prescriber is at every moment. This makes it even more difficult when prescribers put the wrong office information on all of their e-rxs.
I have a hard enough time keeping track of my doctors' offices.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Check the Ether...

I am often amazed, not only where I work but in the rest of real life, by the perceptions people have as to how the world works.
Yesterday's rather mundane offering brings us this (mostly true) story:

CP: Thank you for calling Chronicles' Pharmacy (CP). How may I help you?
White Witch: I was calling to see if my prescription was ready?
CP: That's a statement disguised as a question. Are you Canadian?
WW: No. My name is White Witch.
CP: Sounds like you were picked on as a kid. Have we filled for you before?
WW: Yes. I come there all the time.
CP: It appears we have not filled for you since 2012. Are you sure it was sent here?
WW: Yes. I get all my medications there.
CP: You must be pretty healthy to have not needed anything since that one antibiotic in 2012. I have nothing for you today.
WW: Did you check the voicemail?
CP: <audible sigh> Yes, m'lady. I checked the e-script queue, the faxes, the phone-ins, the voicemail, my text alerts, my personal email, the Pony Express satchel, the telegraph machine, and my partner went out back looking for smoke signals. There is no prescription anywhere in our store for you. We have received nothing. We have filled nothing. Nothing since 2012. Does this answer your statement-question?
WW: Did you check the drawer? (Seriously. She asked this without missing a beat.)
CP: To what drawer are you referring? Our will call bin that doubles as a secret portal to Narnia? Do you expect we are able to open this drawer, peek inside, and suddenly we will have magic insight into all pharmacies' inventories and prescription files? Truly if this existed, it would not be located in a drawer. I am almost certain there'd be an app for that.
WW: So you don't have anything, then?
CP: I could check the freezer.
WW: Would you?
CP: No.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wheel of Excuses

Is there a blog, website, twitter page, something devoted to "Top Excuses to Give Your Pharmacy"?
If not, it was my idea first...
Everyone has heard the same excuses. I know it varies across the USA, but at every store I've worked in my state, when someone has a relative who dies, it always happens in the neighboring state to the Southeast. For whatever reason, the Grandmas always live immediately out-of-state to the East. Always.
Is it the same excuses in the other states too?
Does this also happen in other countries?

It's the same with the relatives who visit. I'm not sure what makes my State the Bermuda Triangle for prescriptions but when out-of-staters visit, they prefer to leave their medications and supplies at home. Either that or they didn't bring enough to last. Because we are so awesome to visit, time flies and the supplies disappear.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

What to do Now?

We cannot think for ourselves anymore. We can, but we either chose not to do so, or we have forgotten how. Technology has made us dumb and too reliant upon it. Want proof? Hand some extra change to a cashier after she has rung up your sale. The look of confusion is priceless. Ask someone for a phone number and they don't have it memorized, they have to look it up in their phone. Better yet, what happens when AT&T goes down?

These are minor things that illustrate a greater problem. What do you do when your prescriber, your hospital, your pharmacy has moved everything to electronic records…and the power goes or the system crashes? Obviously not this. (I had one office switch to all electronic records and they moved all paper records offsite immediately.) Not too smart. Here's why…

Forgetful Folks: Dr. Zoffis, how may we help you?
CP: I was calling about this patient standing in from of me.
FF: He was just here. Bless his little heart.
CP: Indeed bless it. Apparently you were trying to stop it.
FF: Que?
CP: Patient has a severe penicillin allergy.
FF: Okay.
CP: You prescribed him penicillin.
FF: Okay.
CP: Severe as in rash, hives, anaphylaxis, death a couple times. Severe.
FF: "Oh. Our EMR system was down for system maintenance so we couldn't check." (Yep. Actual quote.)
CP: I see. Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Question for you.
FF: Go ahead.
CP: Could the patient talk?
FF: Yes. He's very pleasant.
CP: So it never occurred to you to actually just ASK him if he had any allergies? You never thought to tell him "we are giving you penicillin. any problems with that."?
FF: Um.
CP: So simple. I wish I could fire your whole office for stupidity. At least I have a new name to add to my list of "prescribers who are not allowed to treat me".

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Deck of Cards

We have so many cards on our person.
We have customer loyalty cards, insurance cards, credit cards, licenses, and memberships, all tucked away in our wallets. One thing that always amazes me, and I know it should not, is that people rarely have their insurance cards with them.

What happens when...
...your new credit card arrives in the mail? You sign it and put it in your wallet.
...your new license is handed to you? You put it in your wallet.
...you receive a new FroYo Frequent Flier Card? It goes in your wallet or on your keychain.

...you receive your new insurance card? It goes in a drawer or thrown in with the mail on a desk somewhere.

Maybe insurance companies should design a keyring version of these cards.
Of course the inevitable would follow: people would hand you a 4" diameter  ring that looks like an Etsy Christmas wreath that has every medical, dental, prescription, and rewards card ever received and expect you to figure out which one is correct.