Monday, December 30, 2013

Ignoring the Real Culprit

Guy. Beard. Tattoos. Weird tattoos. Age 35. Long hair. Looks like Jesus with tattoos. Lives at home with mom and dad. On Medicaid. Gets Oxycontin and Oxycodone every month at taxpayer expense.

Usually this guy's mommy comes to the pharmacy to bring in his new prescriptions. For some reason THIS month he's here with his prescriptions. I see his mother over on aisle five looking at the eggs. Why people spend so much time looking at eggs is yet another mystery for another day. 

Anyway, I tell him we'll get his prescriptions ready. He wanders off. Maybe he can go over to the magazine rack and check out Tattoo magazine. I go to work on his prescriptions while my pharmacy partner Mickey shows up. He's at the computer next to me while I double count the prescriptions.

I see the guy's mommy walk down the aisle toward us, make eye contact, then walk off in the other direction. Weird tattoo guy comes up to the counter. I have him sign out his prescriptions (he's a WePay) and he takes off, rather hurriedly, in the other direction from where mommy went. At the time I'm thinking he's thinking his mom must be in that direction and that they need to leave. She's always been in a hurry before when bringing in his prescriptions anyway.

Twenty minutes later Mickey and I are still in our overlap discussing the day's issues when the phone rings. The tech answers and after listening to the caller for a minute announces to Mickey and me, "This lady says her son was shorted on his Oxycontin and Oxycodone."

I'm human. I've made counting mistakes before and I'm smart enough now to accept that and check the count before responding to these claims. I tell her to put the caller on hold while we check the count. I pull out the log book, look up the meds on the computer, pull out the medications, and count. EVERYTHING checks out. Add to that the fact that I double-counted them and Mickey was right there next to me the whole time. I didn't make a mistake.

I pick up the phone and explain what I've done to check out the situation. Mommy tells me she is loading her son's med box and that the Oxycontin is short four tablets and the Oxycodone is short six tablets. "No, wait," she says, "That one is short seven tablets."

I tell her that it isn't possible for all the reasons it isn't possible. I tell her we count by fives and if it was short by five tablets that might be the issue. I tell her that we double count. I tell her about the extra paper work and DEA tracking. I tell her that the manager was standing right next to me. At no point do I suggest that her narc-addicted, tattooed son on Medicaid might have something to do with it. 

She belts out to me, "Should I call the police and tell them what's happened?"

I think she thinks that will persuade me somehow.

"If you'd like," I tell her, "but you understand I didn't make an error. The count was correct when the bottles left the pharmacy."

"Well my son gave the medicine right to me!" she says, agitated.

"No. I saw him walk off in a different direction than you did. I don't know what happened to the medicine from the time he left the pharmacy until he met up with you and handed you the bottles, but..."

She cuts me off, "We've been shopping at Goofmart for years! This is so sad. I just don't know what we're going to do..."

Then I hear her husband in the background, "Well you're going to have to count the medicine BEFORE you leave the pharmacy next time!"

"This is very upsetting! We're good customers there!"


Talk about denial.


Officer Cynical said...

"Should I call the police and tell them what's happened?"

No. No, you absolutely should not.

Pharmacy Gal said...

I've played this game. I would double count, then the tech would check my count. We then took the counting tray to the pick up counter and had the patient check the count before leaving the pharmacy.

Anonymous said...

Probability theory to the rescue. They are claiming that you made two separate errors. Errors (especially after rechecking) are rare. If the chance of on error is 1:1000, the chance of two separate errors is 1:1,000,000.