Monday, August 24, 2015

A Life of Quiet Desperation

If you're a pharmacist or pharmacy technician, here's something that's probably happened to you. It doesn't happen very often, but it is ANNOYING.

Your post modern computer running the latest version of Windows pops up with some new e-scripts. Quickly, you massage the data into your system, adjudicate, print, and fill. These were prescriptions sent over from the prescriber to your pharmacy. Time is of the essence, man! The patient desperately needs these medications, and if you work in Snootyville like I do, the patient is already on the way.

And then it happens... the patient arrives. You're feeling good because you have everything ready to go, ahead of schedule. Crisis adverted. The patient will be happy. The prescriber will be happy. All is good and right with the world. They will sing songs of our courage and bravery through all of Westeros...

...but wait. Seven Hells, the patient doesn't want all the medications. In fact, she only wants ONE of them. "Oh, I don't need all those. I only need the one for anxiety," she will say. 

"But why did the doctor send all these prescriptions over here if you didn't want them filled?" you will ask.

"I just want them to be on record for when I want them," she will reply.

"But you do know that when prescriptions get sent over electronically, we're going to fill them, right?" you will ask. "That's what we do here."

"Yes, I know," she will say, picking up her Medicaid-paid zero co-pay anxiety med and then skip her way down the aisle like Dorothy on the Yellow Brick Road.

Poor pharmacist. 

This is why most pharmacists have lost all personality. We're a sorry lot. Most don't smile, for the mass of pharmacists lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things. They sing not, and for those that never sing, they die with all their music in them.

Apologies to Henry David Thoreau and Oliver Wendell Holmes. 


technorantia said...

Should be a simple solution to that sort of abuse of the system. Either charge a restocking fee for every medication their doctor put in but they choose not to have filled, or flag their customer file that *no* e-scripts are to be filled until the patient personally confirms they wish to have it filled. Any bitching about an extended time to fill the prescription can be waived off, because only the patients who aren't worth having as customers will be the ones complaining.

Kassy said...

From the doctor's perspective:
Nurse asks pt if they need refills before I even go in the room. They say no. After a lengthy visit discussing their 11 different complaints(only one of which they told my nurse about), I write a new script. As I confirm which pharmacy to send it to(the one my nurse confirmed just 20 minutes ago) they suddenly decide they want it to go to the other pharmacy and that they now need refills on their 14 other medications(never mind that records suggest they were sent to yet a 3rd pharmacy 3 months ago with 5 refills).
So now, 10 minutes late for the next appt, I add all those refills to the list and send them. Then, AFTER the button is irrevocably pushed, they say 'oh, I don't need those until next month'.

Crazy RxMan said...

Then call the pharmacy and let them know. When a prescription comes in via fax, e-script, or handed to us... we fill it. That's what we do.