Facebook and Twitter

and follow my blog on Twitter @pharmacynic to receive notifications on new posts.

Monday, August 24, 2020

The Retail Phlu Phallacy

ME and MICE ELF: Are we going to be participating in this discussion or is this a solo diatribe?
CP: Solo diatribe. Try to keep up.

Flu shots are here. While the CDC generally recommends administering vaccines "as soon as they are available", they have not been anticipating the earlier-than-usual arrival of flu vaccines into retail pharmacies. We used to expect them around the last week of August/beginning of September. Now that we are receiving them the last week of July, perhaps we should press pause and wait until September to start vaccinating.
ME and MICE ELF: But you teach the class and recommend "as soon as available" and that the effects last.
CP: I do. I have also been administering shots for 15 years, and teaching classes for near as long. I have witnessed the change from "we are providing a valuable service to our patients" to "if you don't meet your goals, you don't care about your customers". Let me care about my patients and you worry about the other stuff. No matter what I do, my focus will always be on the safety and well-being of my patients. I ask for tech help and pharmacist overlap to care for my patients and you deny it. Yet you want me to vaccinate everyone in my county before Labor Day on top of ensuring I fill their prescriptions safely; on top of counseling them about vaccinations they need. I was doing a great job of this before you decided to force the issue (because of that $25.00 PROFIT YOU make on each flu shot; never mind the administration fee you collect on shots I give).
Personally, and through this page, I heard DM's quoted as saying: "if you miss your goal, you should feel bad because that's a person you failed to care about. you must not care about your patients if you let those shots walk out the door".
When we sold our souls to the Devil known as Corporate Retail, there was an implicit contract to which we all agreed: We, the pharmacists, would exchange our freedom, any ownership rights, and essentially money, for you, the Corporate Overlords, to handle insurance contracts, advertising, promotion, and the general running of the business side of pharmacy. Let's just say that I am doing a better job of caring for my patients than you are at running the business side.
If you really, truly cared about MY patients, as I do, then you would give me what I need to help them.
I need tech help.
I need pharmacist overlap.
I need time to counsel my patients about their medications.
I need time to discuss the needs for vaccinations with each patient.

Look, everyone knows every pharmacy offers vaccinations. I used to joke that patients would not simply stop by on their way home after seeing a sign and say "hey, hon. they're giving flu shots. let's get one while we're thinking about it", but I have seen this come to fruition in less than a decade. Much like getting gas, they pull into whichever corner is easier to get into/out of on the drive home.

How sadistic and unrealistic can you be to make someone's goal 8,000 flu shots when the population of the town and the total number of unique patients to that store is below that? Especially when the store administered fewer than 2,000 flu shots last year! Oh, you have such lofty expectations for the business but you did not increase tech help demand more than 20 hours per week. Nice. Not sure where I'll spend all that ~3hrs/day. Do I plan for a morning rush? A lunch rush? An after work rush?

ME and MICE ELF: In summary?
CP: I love administering vaccinations. I DO believe we are best-positioned to find these patients and administer vaccines to them. I have finally reached the point that no matter what any employer says, I am not going to try to reach my goals. I am going to continue to care for my patients, ALL OF THEM, not just the ones being pestered for shots, and make sure each patient receives the same amount of care. Now the CDC is recommending patients wait until September and that everyone should receive one by Halloween. Why should we have daily/weekly goals if the new CDC recommendation is to wait? And to every corporate shill who tells ANY pharmacy employee "a missed flu shot/vaccine is a missed opportunity to help/care for your patients" you can take these needles and shove them up your ass. (uncapped, of course.)
ME and MICE ELF: Basically, you can't tell the public you care about their health while forcing goals on employees and not providing them the help and safe practices necessary to protect the public. 
CP: Both from disease and their pharmacies. 
Reach your goals.
Don't reach your goals. 
But don't compromise your integrity simply because your bosses are trying to make you feel guilty for not giving that last patient a shot they had no interest in receiving. Remember, only ~45% of the country receives a flu shot annually. That means you can expect to get rejected more than half the time.

No comments:

Post a Comment