At some point in time, it happened.
I don't know if it was a gradual thing, or if it just happens suddenly. It's a curiosity, to be sure.
I'm talking about when upper management, specifically regional pharmacy managers, buy into the whole management culture that pharmacy is no longer about patient care but instead it's just a business.
I've kidded for years about a secret ceremony where they pass around the Kool Aid and swear allegiance to the almighty dollar.
But more and more I wonder, what is it, really? At what point does a normal, reasonable person say to themselves, "Patient safety doesn't concern me anymore. I'm in this for company profit."
In the trenches of retail pharmacy, we've been dealt quite a blow. When I first started with Goofmart, tech hours were dolled out based on script count. This was before vaccinations, Medication Therapy Management, Mirixa, Outcomes, Warfarin logs, monthly C2 counts, Medicare B rules, GoodRx nonsense, and other tasks/responsibilities that stretch the pharmacist thinner and thinner. And, I might add, that at Goofmart Pharmacy we were given many more technician hours for the same amount of work than we are today. And we used to get a bonus.
Today we're just expected to do more with less help and I haven't seen a bonus check in years.
As of right now, my pharmacy has LESS tech hours than ten years ago despite the fact we do MORE scripts than ever before AND have all the added responsibilities I mentioned.
This places a serious burden on patient safety.
And I wonder, what is it? Why aren't the regional pharmacy managers and pharmacy director pushing for more technician hours? Do they seriously no longer care about patient safety? Is there a big bonus that those of us on the front line don't know about?
I don't buy into the idea that the company is struggling and that the "do more with less" is necessary just to survive. Pharmacy did just fine for 150 years without pharmacists giving immunizations. Immunizations are gravy. Whatever upper management is telling us, I just don't believe it.
I'd really like to know what's more important than patient safety.
I'd really like to know.