Monday, September 29, 2014

One Doc at a Time

Recently the Crazy RxMan went to see the doctor. It was time once again to see the doctor for a routine matter. It's not like retail pharmacy is killing me or anything. No, it was all routine, I tell you. Routine. The appointment was for 10am.

This is not my usual doctor. The "If you like your doctor you can keep him" didn't seem to apply to me, so this is a new doctor for me. I can't see my old doctor because he's not on my new health plan that I didn't want to change.

9:55am ~ I show up and announce myself to the receptionist. She tells me to take a seat.

10:10am ~ My name is called and I'm led to the examination room.

10:45am ~ Finally the doctor comes in and performs the examination.

"Well, we're going to keep your medications the same."

He fiddles on the computer, using the e-Script system to send off refills to my pharmacy.

"Ok, I sent them off. They'll be ready when you get there."

My eyes squint. My lips curled. The demon inside me is rising within me.

"How could you possibly know that?" I asked. You see, I've kept my mouth shut about my job and where I work because I wanted to see what he would say after submitting my refill prescriptions.

"Well, uh..."

Obviously he's never had this question before.

"I'm a pharmacist," I said, "And I actually work at the pharmacy you just sent those prescriptions to. When you say that to people, they come to the pharmacy expecting their medications to be ready for them. It doesn't work that way. Sometimes the e-Script system is delayed up to an hour from the time you hit <submit> to the time we actually get it on our end. Plus we need time to enter it on our computer, print a label, fill it, and check it. That takes time too. And if we're busy at the pharmacy, that takes even more time."

The doctor was silent. No one has ever explained this to him before. And that's why us pharmacists have such a hard time with this system. It sure looks great on their end, and after making the patient wait almost an hour before they are ever seen, they're either ignorantly or intentionally sending people to the pharmacy with the idea their prescription will be ready for them when they get there.

Well, that's one down, 893,850 to go.


Anonymous said...

I did this to my doctor, too. Luckily I waited until after my pelvic exam :)

Don said...

As you've just pointed out. They HAVE NO IDEA!

I'm sure that when they received the software, it was explained to them, that they enter the prescription, it goes to the pharmacy and they fill it. Simple!

They wouldn't have been told about all the potential problems happening in-between. So. By all means, explain & educate them.

Tell them that as a pharmacist that them telling patients that it'll be ready when they get there causes you real problems. Invite them along to see how your company works, and understand how you can both make each other's lives easier!

It's all about communication. And remember. Medicine is a team sport.