Here we in the pharmacy pushing flu shots like mad... mostly because The Authorities in upper management keep the pressure on. We get an email or phone call or fax about it every day.
"TO ME," she emphasized by touching both hands to her chest, "it's about patient safety." That's what one clinical pharmacist in our company told me awhile back. I told her that's ridiculous. It's all about company profit, I retorted. She knew I was seeing right through her bull crap story and admitted that yeah, it's a little bit about profit too.
That one event and her admission made me wonder... it made me really wonder what OTHER issues are not at all about how they're presented to us. Obviously a company has to make a profit to survive. No one questions that. But running a pharmacy like a grocery store is just never going to work. "It's no way to run a railroad," as some would say.
You can't work pharmacists and technicians to death. You can't expect that pharmacy teams will continue understaffed without major issues. Eventually, somewhere, somehow, a very frightening mistake will emerge. Someone will get the wrong medication, the wrong dose, or there will be an interaction that's not caught... AND SOMETHING REALLY BAD IS GOING TO HAPPEN... all because the pharmacists and technicians are excessively burdened due to lack of sufficient labor and fueled by discount card nonsense.
It's coming. I guarantee you it's coming. Someone in upper management needs to step up and say "ENOUGH is ENOUGH. Our bonuses are NOT more importanat than people's lives." Someone in upper management needs to say, "This is not a grocery store. This is HEALTHCARE. We MUST treat it differently."
I know there people in upper management positions that read this blog. Seriously, LISTEN to ME:
it's time to stop rolling the dice. Your number is just about up. Step away from the ledge. Start caring about your patients (or customers as you like to call them) by caring about your pharmacists and technicians. Whatever business model you're using that says it's ok to run labor like the fictional Durham in Sinclair's The Jungle, throw it away.
The irony that Sinclair's work is about a company in Chicago that abuses it's workers AND the fact that present day Chicago is making sweeping changes with pharmacy labor hasn't eluded me. It shouldn't elude you either.
Do the right thing. Step up, pull up your adult britches, and DO THE RIGHT THING.