Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Control-Alt-Delete Me

The pharmacy computer system we have right now has been plagued with glitches and problems from the get-go. In fact, all our technology seems inherently unstable. When it does something weird like kick you off without saving any information, everyone just shrugs, says 'whatever' and starts over.

It just infuriates me that we have the same problems over and over again. I don't know how many people out there regularly have to call their company's computer "help" department, but the fact that these people can't diagnose the SAME PROBLEM we had a few days ago just aggravates me. And of course, the person you are talking to on the other end of the phone isn't even in your own state. I spend the first 15 minutes explaining where I am, who I am and what system I am calling about, and the person I'm talking to seems to be looking at it for the very first time themselves ("Wow, would you look at that screen, huh?") Then they want to give me a reference number and call me back in 15-20 minutes. Yeah, that'll work. Meanwhile, my entire work flow has ground to a halt and I've got a line-up of customers glaring at me and looking like they're about to burn me at the stake.

We are totally dependent on our technology. Believe me, I'm grateful for it even though I am whining here. There's just got to be people out there who can quickly diagnose and then permanently fix these problems, especially the ones that repeat themselves again and again. The face-to-face interactions with our computer people are no better -- they always seem mildly amused by my predicament and start asking me questions about my hardware and my servers until I want to scream HOW THE HELL DO I KNOW? THAT'S YOUR JOB !!!! YOU PEOPLE INSTALLED IT!!

I'm not opening any weird attachments. I'm not deleting programs, pulling any plugs or doing anything I'm not supposed to be doing. Just tryin' to do my job.

Thank you for allowing me to vent. Maybe the heat is getting to me.


WarmSocks said...

I've found that documenting an ongoing issue and writing/faxing/emailing the department manager speeds up the resolution process.

You see the pattern, but the person on the receiving end of your call is only getting one tiny piece of the problem.

Once the manager realizes how big the problem is, people start working overtime until it's solved.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Not in your own state? Hell, try not even in your own country. Or even hemisphere.

Somedays I'm not even sure it's the same planet.

was1 said...

That's how our system works, too. The IT guys say its a hardware problem. The hardware guys say its an internet problem. The internet provider says its a software issue. Then, if you suggest that any of these folks pick up the phone and talk to each other, they get pissed off.

Phathead said...

That's part of the reason I started working IT at both of the last places I worked at.

They need an inbetween so that problems are correctly identified and relayed along with making sure things are actually fixed.

I used to take a lot of the pressure off the IT department because a lot of the problems people were having were very simple fixes. Why fill out a fix tag when I can pop there and fix it in 2 minutes? Also a lot of lay people do not know how to accurately describe what is going on, so it may be hard to determine how to fix it.

That being said, IT is always incredibly slow to get around to doing somethings. When something tech related brakes in the pharmacy, I get it fixed immediately. I don't care if I have to drive to the supply cabinet and personally grab a new keyboard, but I'll do it.

I think that's part of the reason why people liked working with me so much lol

The Redheaded Pharmacist said...

Amen Frantic, I am starting to wonder if we are both working on the same system after reading this post, lol. The way it works at my company is you call the "help desk" and they give you a ticket number if that can't fix something right away. They technician assigned to the problem will work on it and get back to you when they fix it (or should I say if they fix it). And you always get an e-mail from tech support that confirms your ticket number and that they are working on your problem. I can't count the number of e-mails I have at work that are ticket number confirmations of computer problems, lol. But what can we do? We are all so dependent on computers now to do business and fill prescriptions efficiently!

RMehta said...

Although, I agree with your discussion. I still feel that as professionals instead of focusing on the 'business' aspect of healthcare, we should direct our efforts in making our clinical skills more sound. Below is a nice website, where you can start.
1. Central searchable repository of a pharmacists 'curb-side' notes.
2. Transition between hospital and retail settings, your notes can transition with you, not your job.
3. For access from anywhere, when I do not have direct access to my references/websites.

chrissoup said...

I used to get the same runaround when I worked for a computer company!