Saturday, September 13, 2014

Just Remain Silent

Ring... Ring.....

"Hello. Thank you for calling Goofmart Pharmacy. This is Crazy RxMan and I have your flu shot ready. How may I help you?"

Lady: "I need a refill on my medication, but I don't have the bottle with me."

When people say this, pharmacists and technicians often feel like the patient is just lazy, but there's always a small possibility the patient is telling the truth.

"Ok, let me look you up on the computer. What's your birth date?"

Technically, shouldn't I ask "What WAS your birth date?" It was in the past, right?

Lady: "Becky Davis."

The possibility that this lady actually has the bottle in her hand just increased dramatically.

"Ok, thanks Becky. What's your BIRTH DATE?"

I did it again. I really should say "What WAS your birth date?"

Lady: "Nine of October, 1985."

We're in the USA. Our convention is Month/Day/Year. Yeah, I know it doesn't make sense, but that's how we roll here. Deal with it.

So I deal with it by translating it in my brain to 10/9/1985. Using our state of the art NASA supercomputer I pull up the patient profile. I see it's been about 25 days since she last filled her Xanax. For some reason, people always ask for Benzodiazepines and Narcotics early. Hmmmm...

"You need a refill on your Xanax?" I ask.

"Yes, I'm almost out," she replies.

I process the claim. A label prints. I'm alone in the pharmacy for awhile and I'm busy, so I tell her it will be 90 minutes. That's not an unreasonable expectation on a Monday morning.

I get to work on the mountain of prescriptions waiting to be filled... most entered on the phone or Internet by people kind enough to use the technology available to them. These are people who request their medication and when the computer tells them 2pm, they show up after 2pm. They are our favorite people. Kudos to you, nice people.

Ten minutes has passed since the phone call. A lady appears at the pick up window.

"Hi, picking up a prescription?" I ask.

"Yes," the lady replies.

"What's the last name?" I ask.

"Nine of October, 1985," she replies.

Hey, wait a minute...

"Becky Davis?" I ask.

"Yes. I'm just checking to see if my prescription is ready."

I'm astounded. For almost ten seconds I'm speechless. I seriously don't know what to say. Ten minutes has passed since we were on the phone... and I very definitely told her that it would be 90 minutes. I'm just stunned.

The demon inside me steps up and speaks for me: "Didn't I just tell you it was going to be 90 minutes?"

"And didn't I just say 'I'M JUST CHECKING'?" Becky says with attitude... serious attitude... nasty attitude.

Still speechless, I go over to the pile of labels and pull hers. I fill the script and send her on her way, not saying anything at all. This situation has "free gift card" and "warning letter" written all over it if I'm not careful, so I choose to remain silent.

Sometimes that's the best thing to do.


Anonymous said...

I wouldn't have filled a controlled medicine 5 days early in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Xanax can be a dangerous drug. I will never forget that a woman driving a car with alprazolam in her system plowed into a bus stop killing 4 people.

But I commend CRM for handling a potential FGC/WL situation to the best of his ability (as much as that hurts). Those potential FGC/WL situations can cause one to reach for the Xanax. However, one should remain calm, quiet, and dispense meds.

Don said...

Top marks for not slapping the bitch into the middle of next week!

I've have told her to bugger off and come back in 80 minutes and it wouldn't be ready a second before.

Oh, and I'm a software developer in New Zealand where we have our date in the PROPER DD/MM/YYYY format. ;-)

However. I'm a huge fan of ANSI dates. YYYY-MM-DD and if you want to get REALLY fancy. You can even slap the time after them.


They're GREAT for sorting! Try creating a few directories on your computer starting with the ANSI date. They just take care of themselves.

Eventually everyone will be using them.