Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Now I have Proof!

I have long suspected the Goofmart pharmacy at Bedlam and Fastway (not far from here) has been sending patients to us just because they don't want to deal with them. I've suspected this before... see LINK.

Today I think I have proof.

Ring, ring

Me: "Thank you, so much, for calling Goofmart Pharmacy, where we put a lot of thought into giving a shot. How may I help you?"

Jones: "This is Jones down the street. You have Transderm Scop patches in stock?"

Me, looking on the shelf: "Nope, not one patch. Sorry."


Ten minutes later, a lady appears at the window.

Lady: "I'd like to get this prescription filled."

I look at it. It's for Transderm Scop patches.

Me: "Did Jones send you down here? I told him on the phone we don't have these in stock."

Lady: Blank stare

Me: "He called me a few minutes ago and asked me if I have them. I don't."

Lady: "He said I should check anyway."

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Prescription Writing Follies

Dear Prescriber,

Let's take a look at a recent prescription from your office:

Here's a few thoughts.

* Maybe if so much space wasn't taken up by your kickback prescription discount nonsense you'd have more room to write a prescription?

* Your handwriting sucks. Seriously, are you a third-grader?

* You've put a controlled substance on the same prescription blank as a non-controlled substance. You do know that in our state this a no-no, right?

* Are we labeling or not? You didn't check the box and I'll bet you never do. How about you get rid of that too for more room to write?

* Almost 25% of the prescription space is delegated to your name, office, address, etc. I'm sure your parents are very proud of you but you don't need to show your pride in yourself with every prescription.

* If this was handed in for a school project, you'd get an F.

I think you can do better. Do it for your patient's sake.


Every Pharmacist, everywhere

P.S. Here's some stuff for you to further consider:

Illegible Prescriptions Can Lead to Errors

The dangers of illegible prescriptions

Illegible handwriting and other prescription errors on prescriptions

Friday, May 26, 2017

This is what it is like...

When a bunch of patients are all staring at you
from the front of the pharmacy!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Ignore the Customer to Maximize Sales

Last week we had some corporate people, The Authorities... about six of them, fussing over the protein supplements like Ensure. These supplements are on a smaller aisle that's hard to get through and with the six of them crowding the aisle it was an area to avoid.

All of them ignored a little old lady that was trying to get some Ensure for herself. She didn't try to interrupt them but they didn't even bother to move or act like she even existed. It was pretty obvious she was there but they all ignored her. I was stunned at how they're obviously here to do something to improve sales while ignoring the customer. 

I was busy and got distracted with something else but the next time I looked up she was trying to get in the aisle from the other side with the same issue. At that point I sent a technician out to help her. The corporate people acted put out because they had to move.

And these are the people that bark at us if someone doesn't get helped within 1.5 minutes after stepping up to the counter.

Monday, May 22, 2017

10 Things NOT to do when Writing a Prescription

Dear Prescriber,

Here's TEN things you should NOT do when writing a prescription:

1. Don't BOLD the last zero

When you do this, it makes it look like the extra zero was added to the prescription and not by you. And you know what that means? Your patient is going to wait while we try to get a hold of you to clarify what you meant.

2. Don't write multiple prescriptions on one blank

We know you're all trying to pinch a penny here and there, but one prescription per prescription blank, please. There's legal requirements on our end that require us to put labels on the back of the prescription. And when you load up the front with multiple medications it makes it harder to read as well. 

3. Don't leave the refill spot blank

If you leave this spot blank, a nefarious patient will be happy to fill it in for you. And if we see 15 refills on a controlled substance prescription, we'll be calling you about it.

4. Don't write 1.0 or .5

After all these years I'm still surprised, but yes, a lot of prescribers are still writing the number 1 as "1.0" which I'm sure you can guess can be misinterpreted as "10." 

The same goes for decimals. If you're writing for 1/2 half of a milligram, please use "0.5" and not ".5" -- in many cases that decimal can be easily overlooked.

5. Don't write illegibly

If you've EVER had a call from a pharmacist asking what you wrote on a prescription... even just one call, then it's time to reevaluate whether you should be physically writing prescriptions. With e-Script technology it's time to stop this nonsense. At the very least, get an assistant or someone with decent handwriting to write for you.

6. Don't write a book

I'm sure you have a novel idea on how prednisone should be tapered, but we've only got about 140 characters on the label. 

7. Don't invent new drugs

We know a lot of you prescribers have a "God" complex, but the reality is that you can't just invent a new medication. Please stick to the already approved and available medications.

8. Don't invent new dosing regimens or indications

Let's stick to the standard dosing with medications unless there's a really odd off-label dosing protocol or another reason why you want the med to be taken the way you've prescribed. If that's the case you should add your reasoning to the prescription. Otherwise, you're either going to get a call from us or your fax machine will be printing out a "prior authorization" request form.

9. Don't give the prescription to the patient until you've proofread what you've written

Just a quick look... 30 seconds at the most, can save oodles and oodles of time at the pharmacy. We're going to check each prescription, and when we find mistakes, we're going to call your office, have you paged, bother your staff, and generally pester you over and over until you clarify the Rx.

10. Don't hand over the prescription without indicating who wrote it

Sounds pretty simple, right? Oh ho ho ho, you'd be amazed how many prescribers sign scripts with an illegible scribble without indicating who they are in any other way. This is especially true for you hospitalists out there. Yeah, you.

If there's multiple physician names on the top, circle your name. Or print your name by your signature, legibly. Don't think for a minute the patient is going to remember. Half the time they don't have any clue who they saw. Don't make us guess who wrote the prescription or... guess what, we'll be calling the office to find out, and that wastes both of our time.

Thank you,

Every pharmacist, everywhere