Friday, October 12, 2012

Following Directions is Apparently Difficult

People want flu shots this time of year. And that's ok because we have a lot of them. We have it down to a 10 minute venture start to finish unless the phone starts ringing or some other interruption. But for some reason, people can't seem to follow directions. Maybe it's my delivery, OR maybe people are just trying to intentionally piss me off. I think the latter.

Lady: "I'd like a flu shot please." (She starts rolling up her sleeve like I'm going to reach out over the counter and stick her).

Me: "Ok, we will get you a flu shot." I proceed to get her personal information and billing information. I process a claim and a label prints. So then I hand her a consent and release form, stating the following, "I just printed a label (I'm holding it in my hand), so you don't need to fill out the top part. I just need your doctor's name, sign and date, and answer questions one thru eight." (It even rhymes which I think makes it easier). I point to the parts of the release form where I said I needed her to fill it out as I'm saying all this.

I go draw up a syringe with the magic Nixon/CDC mind-control potion then walk back to the patient.  There it is, completely filled out from top to bottom, including answers to all 14 questions. Once again, the patient has failed to listen to me. I sigh, have her sign out the shot like a regular prescription, then take her to our million dollar GOODNESS room and immunize her.

This scenario has played out SOOOOOO many times it can't be a coincidence. I've tried different approaches, even telling the patient to LISTEN TO ME CAREFULLY, or even highlighting with a pen what needs to be filled out. And still, over 80% of the time, the patient fails to follow the directions. It's not really a big deal unless we're really busy (which is most of the time) and they're taking up precious time filling in parts they don't need to because THEY DIDN'T LISTEN TO ME. So yeah, it aggravates me. And I worry, I really worry, because they vote too.

3 comments:

Dr. Minerva said...

It's OK. I had a patient come in last night, an RN nonetheless, with no insurance information, no money or credit cards, and a print-out indicating that she had signed up for health benefits at her job. She wanted to know why three months of brand name birth control was $125? She had signed up for benefits? Why couldn't I just give it to her? Shouldn't it be like, $3? But wait, she thought it was free because of Obamacare?

CrayonEater said...

At the community college where I teach I hand out a printed schedule, email all of the students every week about upcoming assignments and nag them about it as the due date gets closer. Inevitably several show up to class on the due date with no assignment in hand.

They forgot. Folks stopped listening and reading in middle school, if not sooner.

Anonymous said...

If you have time (when pharmacy is not busy), you should say: "So tell me what you're going to fill out?"

Making them repeat it back will def help