Wednesday, November 21, 2018

I'd Really Like to Know

At some point in time, it happened.

I don't know if it was a gradual thing, or if it just happens suddenly. It's a curiosity, to be sure. 

I'm talking about when upper management, specifically regional pharmacy managers, buy into the whole management culture that pharmacy is no longer about patient care but instead it's just a business.

I've kidded for years about a secret ceremony where they pass around the Kool Aid and swear allegiance to the almighty dollar. 

But more and more I wonder, what is it, really? At what point does a normal, reasonable person say to themselves, "Patient safety doesn't concern me anymore. I'm in this for company profit."

In the trenches of retail pharmacy, we've been dealt quite a blow. When I first started with Goofmart, tech hours were dolled out based on script count. This was before vaccinations, Medication Therapy Management, Mirixa, Outcomes, Warfarin logs, monthly C2 counts, Medicare B rules, GoodRx nonsense, and other tasks/responsibilities that stretch the pharmacist thinner and thinner. And, I might add, that at Goofmart Pharmacy we were given many more technician hours for the same amount of work than we are today. And we used to get a bonus.

Today we're just expected to do more with less help and I haven't seen a bonus check in years.

As of right now, my pharmacy has LESS tech hours than ten years ago despite the fact we do MORE scripts than ever before AND have all the added responsibilities I mentioned.

This places a serious burden on patient safety. 

And I wonder, what is it? Why aren't the regional pharmacy managers and pharmacy director pushing for more technician hours? Do they seriously no longer care about patient safety? Is there a big bonus that those of us on the front line don't know about?

I don't buy into the idea that the company is struggling and that the "do more with less" is necessary just to survive. Pharmacy did just fine for 150 years without pharmacists giving immunizations. Immunizations are gravy. Whatever upper management is telling us, I just don't believe it. 

I'd really like to know what's more important than patient safety.

I'd really like to know.


Anonymous said...

Nothing is going to happen until someone famous gets killed from an error. But I think it's more than likely a pharmacist is going to snap and lose it. That's when reporters start asking why upper management to pharmacies are making things so unsafe for the almighty dollar.

Ms. Donna said...

Can you get to a local reporter? OOOOOPs, the bean counters got them, too. Well, if you get any reporter, you will have to spoon-feed them about the dangers of too many things to take care of and not enough staff.

The scene where George Bailey in "It's a Wonderful Life," as a boy, refuses to deliver a medicine a grief-stricken pharmacist made an error on comes to mind.

Get several of your colleagues (not just goofmart) to discuss with her/him. Please, before somebody DOES get hurt.

Unknown said...

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bobthomas said...

If losses from lawsuits, appeasement payments,gift cards etc. that result from lowered patient safety cost $1000000 per year and the cost to the corporation to prevent that loss is $1000001, corp is gonna save that dollar cause it increases the bottom line. It's purely a business decision.

Mark Raus said...

I run a union and sit on the negotiating committee. We are up against the same thing. Even with a collective voice we share the same difficulties, and we have a contract. Our employers need to just say no to these horrible third party contracts that pay less than our costs. And pharmacists need to organize. Our group is better off for doing so. You have little recourse without being part of a professional union like ours.

Mark Raus
Independent Pharmacists' Assn.