Tuesday, August 20, 2013


A recent visit by a regional pharmacy manager at my grocery store pharmacy summed it all up in just a few words. She was visiting and going over our numbers– you know– to find something to complain about as usual. She saw someone at the pick-up window and immediately announced to the technician and myself, “YOU have a CUSTOMER.”

That’s when it dawned on me. My regional manager has been sucked into the corporate world way of thinking… to ME the person at the counter was a PATIENT, and that’s where all the problems start in retail. Until upper management figures out that while they are customers of the grocery, they are patients of the pharmacy and need to be treated as patients… including the most important aspect: PATIENT SAFETY. 

And until upper management, MBAs, and bean counters figure out that profit is secondary to safety, issues will continue to surface regarding patient safety everywhere.


Anonymous said...

Boy, do I agree with you. I am a nurse and I feel that all of health care changed when people became customers and not patients. I take care of patients, not customers. And the day that I am instructed to place mints on the pillows of my patients, is the day I will be done with nursing. I fear that that day is not far off.

Anonymous said...

We must refer to our patients as "guests." What a load of crap. They are our patients and we are responsible for filling their medication orders accurately and safely. I'm not having them over for cocktails and dinner.

Anonymous said...

Did someone mention cocktails?!

Anonymous said...

I refused to call patients "guests". They don't consider themselves guests. It's embarrassing and belittles us as healthcare professionals. Medical doctors would never be asked to do that. Fast, fun, and friendly... Wow. My University didn't teach us that. I work for an independent today. It's a huge difference, but far from what I envisioned. Sad.