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Thursday, February 27, 2020


CP: You know what's interesting?
ME: That you have regular conversations with yourself and no one has put you in a straitjacket and locked you in a padded room?
MICE ELF: That zebra's stripes serve to keep flies away?
CP: No. Yes. Stop. People love to make comparisons to retail pharmacy and fast food. We both have drive-thrus, our companies value speed over accuracy, and we both upsell items at the register (you want fries or a flu shot with that?).
ME: Yeah. So?
CP: Fast food has evolved. People don't want ready-made grub. With Chipotle, Subway, Jimmy John's and even Sheetz with their Made-To-Order fare, the game has changed. People enjoy placing an order for a fresh-made meal. They will wait in line or stand around waiting for their freshness to arrive.
MICE ELF: Those MTO sandwiches are pretty good and worth the wait.
CP: Right? As people have decided to slow down, however trivially, they expect faster service at the pharmacy.
ME: All you do is put pills in a bottle.
MICE ELF: And all the Sandwich Stewards do is slap some salami on some bread.
ME: They better not be slapping their salami while making my sandwich.
CP: But you will stand inside a Sheetz and wait with a dozen other patrons until your order is processed. No one is complaining about the wait. They are milling about picking up a few impulse purchases and otherwise not interrupting the process.
ME: They also can't see the process to interrupt it.
ME: Let me guess. . . you're going to make the claim we need to Close The Pharmacy again?
CP: Well, at Sheetz, the person making my sandwich isn't running out to pump someone's gas, exchange a propane tank, or sell cigarettes while working on my order. She is focused on the task at hand, uninterrupted. It's less likely I will get mustard slapped on my buns when I requested spicy Mayo if she is focused.
MICE ELF: Ew. Thanks for that image.
ME: If you were locked away from distractions, you're saying there's an increased likelihood you would be laser-focused on the task at hand, the patients' prescriptions?
CP: Unequivocally. While the mustard won't kill me, missing that drug interaction or miswritten, mis-filled prescription may kill someone.
ME: Are you suggesting we should put pharmacies in Sheetz?
MICE ELF: That would be awesome!
CP: Sure. Patients scan their Rx into the kiosk, then scan in their insurance card, then walk away. If their information is incomplete, their order won't finalise. Once it's ready, they get a text with a barcode to scan with the price then pay it at the automated register. (If they want to change the price or use GoodRx, they have to indicate that at the kiosk or click "make changes". This way, they are responsible for the extra time required for this step.) Then they come back to the lone, narrow pharmacy window and a pharmacist hands it to them and provides counseling.
ME: Damn. And they can walk over and get a sandwich and some loaded totz while they wait.
MICE ELF: Brilliant!
CP: This is almost as good as my idea to put a pharmacy in a cineplex. Movie's over? Prescription's ready!

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