Sunday, January 24, 2010

By All Means, Move at a Glacial Pace

On a day last week at one of our smaller pharmacies (one pharmacist, 1 & 1/2 techs) we seemed extremely busy all day. Between the phone, cash register, new scripts and continuing January insurance issues there was no time to spare. At the end of the day, I look at the prescription totals, and I can't believe it --- you know, it says 110 prescriptions and if feels like 500.

What's frustrating is that the people at corporate look at JUST that number when allocating staffing and resources. You can't explain to them that it's not a true representation of how 'busy' you are. One of my 1 & 1/2 techs is lost to me on the cash register much of the time.
Endless phone calls are taken and made (mostly to insurances) and this eats up SO much time. We are bogged down in ordering procedures and the labor-intensive process of preparing mail-out prescriptions and calling people when their credit cards decline, etc... stuff that has nothing to do with filling prescriptions.

I can handle all that, but I can't change a staff member who is just inherently SLOW. This, I've realized, is probably our biggest problem. Somehow a simple, run-of-the-mill Vicodin script takes 10 minutes to produce in a finished form. I've got other techs who can enter/count/fill/label it in literally 90 seconds. In pharmacy, that's the way it has to be. You've got to be able to MOVE faster. And I mean physically, too. There are some people that just saunter around at the same pace all the time, completely oblivious to the situation crashing down around them. There are times when I want to holler, Come on, LET'S GO !!!!!! WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR ??????

Believe me, I don't believe we all have to run around like little jack-rabbits all the time.
But have you ever been waiting on a bank teller, or a receptionist, or a sales clerk who's moving at a glacial pace right in front of you? Just makes me a little crazy.


The Redheaded Pharmacist said...

There is no sense of urgency with some pharmacy employees. They will work at a given pace whether there is one waiter or 15 waiters to be filled. You are right about corporate though, they only look at the numbers. They ususally don't even care if you did more new rxs vs. refills. And January is the worst. All those insurance problems slow you down but somehow that doesn't get reflected in the magical numbers that are important to the powers that be. But corporate doesn't have to deal with angry customers or insurance problems so they could care less!

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Yeah, and the corporate suits never actually want to come to the pharmacy to see what really happens, either.