Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Call-Back

So this customer calls and needs to talk to a pharmacist. She then proceeds to rattle off a boatload of medications that she needs to pick up THIS morning, before she goes to work in the afternoon. I tell her there are many orders ahead of her, and I'm not sure we'll be able to have all of hers ready in time. She pisses and moans, and then asks if we can call her when they are ready. I agree, but then she says, "Well, there's really only one thing I absolutely need today -- I MUST have it, I am completely out."

OK, I tell her, we will definitely have that one item ready for you to pick up when you come in. I can't promise the other things, but we'll prioritize the one item you need and you can pick it up.

Now, imagine for a moment you are this customer. Which of the following do you proceed to do.... DO YOU:

a.) Stop in at the pharmacy on your way to work to pick up the item you desperately need and be glad you were able to get it on short notice.


b.) Call me back at about 4pm that afternoon, from work (and therefore now unable to pick up the prescription before we close) and shrilly demand why NO ONE CALLED YOU to tell you your prescription was ready? When I remind you of our previous conversation (which everyone else in the pharmacy can attest to) you remain pissed off, as it's all MY fault, refuse any alternative I propose (such as transferring the prescription elsewhere) and hang up on me.

I'm sure you can guess which option this customer chose. It's just like those phone calls we get where the customer says, "Why didn't anyone call me to tell me my prescription was ready??? I've had NO medication for 4 days!"

Really? You forgot how to use that telephone, huh? There's really no obligation on your part to take the bull by the horns and give us a call? Huh. I mean for crying out loud, every 6 year old has a cell phone nowadays.

I see Walgreens is now advertising 'texting' people when their orders are ready. Great. We don't quite have that technology just yet, and probably won't any time soon.

If people ask for a call back, we make a note of it and do it. And by the way, if I get no answer, or an answering machine with no identification on it, then the ball is pretty much back in the customer's court. I've got to move on.

But please people, take just SOME responsibility for obtaining that medication you absolutely MUST have today. Since you decided to wait until you were completely out, it would be nice if you didn't blame me for that too.


Marc B said...

I love the ones who call and demand we fill their 10 scripts because "the doctor told me I can't miss a single day" and the person has been out for the past 5 days. It is not my responsibility as a pharmacist to call you constantly to make sure you don't need anything. I am also not psychic and cannot read your mind to or view into where you store your medicines to see if they need to be refilled. Of course it also pisses me off when I have to rush to fill a script and it ends up sitting in the bins waiting to be picked up and ends up being RTS after like 2 weeks and no one picking it up, and then a week later the person comes in wanting to pick it up or barring that have it filled right now.

If I needed a medicine that badly, I would make sure to not wait until I was out to order a refill and the pharmacy was rushing to fill it, I would be on my way down there to wait and pick it up, not pull this crap of scream and never pick it up, so therefore it must be the pharmacist's fault I can manage a simple thing like a medication refill.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Trying to get people to take responsibility for their health? Heresay!

McFury CPhT said...

Don't you know the next step of pharmacy is to go to their home and actually give them the medication daily, bid, tid, etc. Yep, because calling, emailing, and texting them that THEIR order is ready is simply not enought these days.

As my pharmacist always tells people that won't take responsibility for themselves "I'm sorry, my day is full enough trying to take care of myself, I don't have enough time to do the same for you and everyone else"