Saturday, March 26, 2016


I was off for a week. You'd think that by being out of the pharmacy that long I'd be good for a couple of weeks before losing my mind again.


Three hours into my shift a lady comes up to the window.

"My name is Darla Dweeb and I'm here for my prescription. My doctor said it would be ready when I got here."

I look deeply into her eyes, trying to ascertain if there is any sense of intelligence within her. My pulse quickens as the rage within me builds.

"How would the doctor know that?" I ask her.

I detect a slight bit of understanding within her. A glimmer of intellect putting it all together formulates within her gray matter... the realization that no, the doctor couldn't possibly know that.

Flynn the tech, sensing my intense displeasure, steps up to tell the lady that we did get an e-Script for her medication moments ago but that we would need time to fill it... 15-20 minutes.

Flynn goes back to the computer to work on her script. I pull up the information on another computer and immediately dial the doctor's office.

"Vandaley Family Practice... how may I direct your call?"

For some odd, unknown reason, I am able to get the doctor's assistant on the line within a minute.

I explain what has happened to the assistant, then I ask her, "How is it that Dr. Vandaley is able to know our workflow here at the pharmacy? Do you have cameras installed? I'm really curious to know why you're telling patients that their prescription will be ready when they get here?"

Silence... then finally a response, "Uhhhhh..."

I continue, "I would appreciate it if you would STOP telling patients that their medication will be ready when they get here. You do not know our workflow. It's discourteous to us and unprofessional."

"I will pass that on to Dr. Vandelay," she responds.

If I have to call EVERY doctor in the entire UNITED STATES to get this message across, I will. 



Anonymous said...

True story, happened yesterday! The pharmacy manager and I where both standing there when one of our techs came down and was standing in front of our special order area in the pharmacy. She asked if we had Drysol, a lady was at drop off wanting to buy it and her dr told her she could get it over the counter. I told our tech that it was prescription only. She dutifully told the patient this. A little bit later the same lady came up to the registers and shouted back to us that she just called her dr and Drysol is available over the counter and she just wanted us to know that! She then triumphly turns her heel and walks away. Good luck with that lady!

Anonymous said...

It would be like me, as a pharmacist who has never worked in a doctor's office before, telling a patient that, "Sure! Your doc completely phucked up your Rx but if you go right back to the office, they'll see you immediately without an appointment! Don't you worry, all you have to do is go there and they'll take care of you."


"Hmm, seems like you have no refills. Just head on down to your doc's office. Of course you don't need an appointment, it's just refills, right? All they have to do is click a few buttons on a computer, right?"


"$4 Rx's? Hmm, unfortunately your god-like doctor is mistaken. However, if you go right back to the office (no need for an appointment) they can do a full medical assessment for free! Of course your insurance covers it, why wouldn't it! Of course they'll see you immediately with no wait. They're not busy on a Monday morning."

Ms. Donna said...

Being a lowly pt., I have been in the middle of such disputes between MD office and Pharmacy.

Recent example: Was in Dr. office, and my very good MD wanted to change some of my meds. I was having a reaction to one, and my blood work was off so she wanted to do it ASAP. Calling it in to the mail-order pharmacy my insurance prefers was not an option. Compromise: MD's office called in new order to the mail-order pharmacy, and sent an Rx to local pharmacy for a two-week supply.

Dr. says, "Pick this up on the way home.I just called it in (Actually, the nurse did) and it should be ready."

Now I've seen CrazyRx Man's posts, and know that this may or may not be true. Still . . .

Yep, I get to Local Pharmacy, to see the pharmacists working like the hounds of hell (the Authorities?) were snapping at their heels. The tech at the register has caught the mood of the pharmacists and is a tad, well, snotty.

Yes, I know that you're busy. And I know my MD didn't know that. But I am ill, I do need the medicine and really do not need the tech's attitude. Just give me a REALISTIC wait time, and for the love of all that is good, have a comfortable place to wait.

Crazy RxMan said...

There's no such thing as a lowly patient.

Mookie said...

Weird I had someone come in this week who said there Doctor told them Drysol was OTC too.

iratecanadianpharmacist said...

it's OTC in Canada... then again, I get plenty of patients asking me for OTC Nexium and Flonase

Anonymous said...

As a customer, I think that we need to approach this w/ some common sense (collective signs from the Internet, I'm sure). I'm baffled (though I know it happens) that patients take the docs word for their script being ready when they get there; which could be five minutes or three hours and five minutes. My docs have always said, "I've send your script over. If you plan on heading there now, you may want to call and find out how long the wait will be!"

On the flip side, I sure would love to be called sooner, rather than later, if the script my doc sent over won't be ready the same day. And, If the item has to be ordered, please call me.....if you only have 10 of the 30 tablets, please call me!!! Also, before you call the MD to see if you can switch a medication (& I don't mean brand to generic........substituting Ventolin for Xopenex)!

I think we can do a lot to improve the relationship between patient and pharmacy/pharmacist. However, as much as the patients can do, there's many things the pharmacy staff could be/should be doing that they don't or forget to do regularly. Believe it or not, I get mistakes happen and no industry is perfect. Consequently, I take a number of safeguards to protect myself and those I love.

Anonymous said...

We have these metrics called "Aciton Notes". They are tracked by the name of the employee and the time he/she called the pt regarding insurance problems, out of stocks, number of times we have called/ faxed md for refills, etc. Since we would like to avoid dealing with issues when the pt is in the store and already at pickup, we do try to call pt for our own benefit. However, we cannot call or text if we have a phone number the pt has not used for 10 years. If the pt would check to see what contact number we have on file (home or cell), that would help to decrease problems that could arise. Our system calls or sends a text (in real time) when the prescription is really ready. That is when we would like to see our pts come in.

Anonymous said...

I can promise you I have never told a patient that their prescription would be ready when they got to the pharmacy.I can also promise you I had patients leave my office and go to the pharmacy and tell them I said it was ready.please keep in mind that at least half of what patients say has no relationship at all to what they were told.

Crazy RxMan said...

To anonymous above me... I believe you. I believe most doctors don't do that. It's the ones that DO say that which cause all the problems. And I too don't believe half of what patients tell me.

BUT... I've been to doctors as a patient myself, and I've heard doctors tell ME, "Ok, I sent over your prescription. It will be ready when you get there," thus confirming the fact that SOME doctors do, in fact, tell that to patients.

lbeben said...

Sorry Crazy Man, I'm just an IM/Cardiology PA but when I have a really sick one on my end who needs a third tier antibiotic, a Digoxin load or whatever I need you to be ready on your end. I'll call ahead personally on tougher cases. My pharmacists know me well here and we work as a team. Personally I hate the term STAT but sometimes I need things done in a hurry, sorry if I ruffle feathers when I do that. Les

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Drysol.....I too have had this come from patients. However, the clinical strength deodorants are the exact same thing. Just FYI.

Morgan said...

Antibiotics and other medications deemed acute by corporate have a 30 minute completion time set and a bit faster for kids medicines. If you do need a legitimate stat med, I need a phone call, not a voicemail. Otherwise it will end up in a predetermined queue of wait times. It sounds like you're handling that situation appropriately. However, I would hope that if we chat and I push back and say I realize this is important but I have 20 scripts and a line down the aisles that you would be just as courteous and know I'm doing my best for all my patients. Even better if we have this conversation while the patient is at your office so we're all on the same page. If the patient legitimately can't wait, I don't want them coming to the pharmacy. I want them sent to the hospital or urgent care.