Monday, January 7, 2013

A Toe in the Water

I work for a pharmacy inside a grocery store. It's a national chain with locations all over the United States. Our company is well-respected and although we're never the first to do anything (we copy our competitors), I think most of the company's pharmacists truly care about their patients and want to be great pharmacists. Unfortunately, the company itself keeps us from being great pharmacists.

To me, if you want to have a pharmacy in your grocery, you're either all in or all out. Quit this "toe in the water" mentality. Quit friggin worrying about the inventory and technician hours. Quit putting all the workload on a lone pharmacist because you're too cheap to hire techs. Quit treating your pharmacists like interchangeable cogs. We're not gears. We're professionals. Quit trying to run the pharmacy like a grocery store. Quit telling us to lower the inventory. We're not an automobile manufacturer getting part deliveries four times a day. We get ONE order FIVE days a week. We have to have a higher inventory to serve the needs of our patients. We can't sell out of an empty wagon. I'm tired of losing business, turning people away, not being able to help someone with a sick baby because we don't have something in stock because your bean counters at corporate (who have never actually been in a pharmacy) say we can't keep something in our inventory. We fill MEDICATIONS, and people NEED THEM NOW, not TOMORROW. If you really want to run a pharmacy, it has to BE a pharmacy. No one would expect or put up with a hospital where the hospital told the patient, "Sorry, you need this med, but we can't get it for you until tomorrow." That would be crazy! So if we're going to be a pharmacy, BE a pharmacy. Get over the pitiful amounts of money you free up by keeping our shelves bare. You've GOT the money... you've reduced our tech hours so we look ridiculous as it is, you've taken away half of our retirement funding three years ago (which we were told at the time would be TEMPORARY), and you show you have the money by paying auditors to call our pharmacy and see if we're answering the correct questions on when flu shots are available. So if you want to have a pharmacy, run it like a pharmacy. All in or all out, no toe in the water!


Leah said...

I work in a hospital outpatient pharmacy and deal with the same inventory crap.
Granted, it isn't as bad as when I worked at a chain grocery store pharmacy, but they still try it...

Pill Pusher said...

Amen brother