Tuesday, September 8, 2015

In the Company of Contradictions

We had a recent visit from the "clinical pharmacist" from our division. She showed up during a busy lunch hour and asked if she could speak with me, AFTER hearing me just tell two patients that their wait time would be 15 minutes.

Her purpose in coming by was to make sure we were in compliance with pushing "companion" vaccines to every patient that steps close to the pharmacy.

In addition to everything else we're supposed to be doing, we're now required to check if there is an immunization that the patient needs every time the automatic refill list spits out in the morning. So a 30 minute job instantly turned into 60 minute job. 

"Check every patient on the refill list... check their age, status, disease state, and recommend vaccinations based on the information in our database," she commanded. "Then ask the patient when they pick up their medication if they'd like to get the shot."

"Have YOU worked in a pharmacy before?" I asked, based on the fact that she apparently has no clue of the time constraints in a busy pharmacy. I admit I was intentionally trying to be rude.

"Of course I have," she replied. "She" looking like she's about 12 years old.

"Listen," I said, "I know the company looks at this as a cash cow, but..."

She cut me off. "This is NOT about MONEY. THIS is about healthcare! I don't know about YOU, but I went into pharmacy to HELP PEOPLE. I want to help people!"

"I'm sure that's what they told you to say, but this is not about healthcare. It's about increasing a revenue stream."

"That's not true," she said. A glazed look comes across her eyes. Someone at corporate brainwashed her but good.

"A few months ago I attended a manager meeting at the corporate headquarters. The pharmacy director said many times that we needed to increase revenue by increasing sales," I say.

"Well, I take that back. It is about sales. But it's about healthcare TO ME," she says, holding the tips of her finger tips to her upper chest. "That's why we need to help our patients get the immunizations they need."

I tried to explain, in detail, the increased workload that gets passed on to pharmacists and techs by The Authorities, most of which have never stepped in a pharmacy. I told her how each little "project" or roll out adds time and work to an already over-worked and over-stressed staff. I told her that if the company really wants to make money in this, they should be hiring a separate sales force or staging clinics to do the immunizations.

"We've done that! No one comes to the clinics!" she snorts. "Did you know Pfizer did a study? The study PROVES that the best way to market an immunization is when the suggestion comes directly from the pharmacist. That's why we need you to recommend it to every patient."

"So you're relying on pharmacists to be your sales force? Did YOU know most pharmacists are pharmacists BECAUSE they don't want to be in sales?"

She just looked at me.

"I'd like to see that study. Do you have a copy of it?"

"Well no, but I can try and get you a copy. You know how companies are about sharing their studies," she says, doing a fake "ha ha ha" at the end.

"So you're quoting a study to get me to ask every patient to get an immunization when you won't even show me the study? So I can increase the number of immunizations, but not for sales, just because I care about healthcare, right?"

I don't think she liked my sarcasm.

What a load of manure. I have no doubt I'll be signing a warning letter in the near future or handed a pink slip.


Knot Telling said...

I don't know how you've managed to stick it out this long.

Anonymous said...

We are supposed to tell front store personnel that as they walk in the aisles of the store they are to ask customers if they want a flu shot. Really??

Anonymous said...

Ha...Apparently no one told her about the employer sponsored health fairs like the one my husband's employer has where they give the employees and their families flu shots every year. This is where I get my flu shot. My town has several factories that do this. IMHO the flu shot % is reached an entirely different route and the corporate DMs around here can't seem to make the connection.