Monday, August 29, 2016

Get PROACTIVE or Go Home

All pharmacists will agree that they hate voicemail. Despite the recording that gives clear instructions to spell names and drug names and which number to push for refill or new prescription, prescribers just push through to start leaving a message.

So one night... late, like 11:30 in the evening and well past closing time a physician left a voicemail for FIVE new prescriptions, rattling them off one after another at cheetah speed. I had to rewind the message countless times to get it all correct. Seriously, I was on the voicemail for at least ten minutes getting it all.

Problem one: the patient is not in our database. All I have is her name and date of birth. At this point pharmacists disagree on what to do, but FOR ME, I will take the prescriptions as far as I can through the workflow process. I printed labels and the techs filled the prescriptions.

Problem two: the doctor is not in our database. I have physician name and phone number. Without an NPI, insurance is going to reject the claim once we get the insurance information from the patient. A check on our NPI database revealed nothing, as if the doctor doesn't even exist. The tech fires off a call to the prescriber and is immediately sent to voicemail, where she leaves a message explaining that we need the NPI number.

The patient called to verify that we received the prescriptions and wants to give insurance information over the phone, because, well, you know... in Snootyville the five extra minutes that would take at the register is just unacceptable. Besides, these are medications for a PROCEDURE and she needs them immediately.

In other words, the physician remembered late the night before that her patient getting a boob lift or tummy tuck needed some prescriptions ahead of time.

The tech explains the situation to her about the lack of an NPI, to which she replies, "I'm diabetic and I don't have time for this. YOU need to be PROACTIVE."

Finally the physician called back to give us the information. I was about to say something about not being in the database, but then sighed and just let it go. 

We reprocessed the prescriptions. The patient showed up for her medication and again had attitude toward us about the situation. I showed her a printout from our NPI registry that showed "NO RESULTS FOUND" when we put in the name of the physician. I then told her that being PROACTIVE would mean calling in medications way ahead of time of a procedure, NOT the night before. I further told her that we had the medications ready and processed under a discount card because we didn't have all her information. I said that this was as PROACTIVE as we could get under the circumstances.

She paid and left. An hour later she called and apologized. I guess she decided to proactively be nice to us in case she needs another procedure.


Anonymous said...

Seems like too much effort AND you had to speak to the customer. Fuck that.

Anonymous said...

If her apology was sincere, accept it and move on. God knows you have enough petty crap stealing bits of your soul each day to let Dr. Douchebag and his patient get to you.