Monday, February 13, 2012

In The System

Well the beginning-of-the-year nightmare scenario has eased somewhat, however I'm still getting customers who positively assert that they have been to my pharmacy many times before, and that all their current information is 'in the system.' Alas, a quick check of the system reveals no record of them whatsoever. Are people really not paying attention to where they are on this earth?? When you can't remember where you have had prescriptions filled, you're getting way too many.

Erratic staffing forces me to spend much more time at the cash register than I ever want to. I barely make it to the window when the person is swiping their credit card with a giant wave of the arm. Please, wait a minute. Let me at least tell you how much it is --- that way, we won't complete the entire transaction before you think to ask me "Why is it that much?" or "I think I won't take that one." Because you know, to reverse a credit card charge is about a 20-step process on our incredibly complicated register system. And incidentally, I've already given up on the idea that you might want me to tell you something about your prescription.

A couple of things that people still don't "get":

--- Dropping off seven new prescriptions means you're going to be waiting awhile. Don't look so surprised. There are people ahead of you, and the staff here still have to wait on other customers and answer the phones while we plow through those prescriptions. Come back later.

-- For a doctor to continue to prescribe medications for you, they generally have to see you for an appointment at least once a year. That's the way it is -- snapping at me that you NEED it, or you don't want to pay an office copay is not going to change it.

Hell hath no fury like an entitled, middle-aged guy who suddenly discovers his Viagra is not covered on his new insurance plan. Jeez, I had a tough time keeping my cool with that jerk. He was incredulous that the doctor's office had not responded to the request for a prior authorization the next day. Move to the back of the line, EVERYONE. This guy goes first.

A lot of people are writing prescriptions now who are not M.D.'s (as Pharmacy Chick referred to in a recent post.) Many of them are very competent and save the system time and money by treating medical conditions within the scope of their practice and under the 'supervision' of an M.D. However, some of these prescribers write for some heavy duty stuff, and I am really uncomfortable filling prescription after prescription for C-2 narcotics from a nurse practitioner. Sorry, I just am. I had a customer decline (with my blessing) to fill a $250 inhaler the other day from an NP, stunned that this had been prescribed for a "little cough." Or the guy who said he was switched from simvastatin to Lipitor, merely so he could "eat grapefruit." (??) Another NP near us seems compelled to write multiple prescriptions for everyone, and I think only succeeds in confusing the hell out of people.

Me included.


Nurse and Hospital Stories said...

"Or the guy who said he was switched from simvastatin to Lipitor, merely so he could "eat grapefruit." (??)"

Sounds like a grapefruit addict,

Peny@nurse scrubs

Red-No_4 said...

I had a guy waiting at 8am in the drive thru of my Walgreens. I couldn't find the medication for his child, so I started going through the basic questions (DId you drop off the prescription or was it called in? etc.) Still can't find anything for the kid. Finally he gets frustrated and starts ranting about Publix a fine grocery store that also has pharmacies. Inside. Usually without a drive thru (or at least to god I hope so).

PA Honeybee said...

Just a question, would you be comfortable filling a narcotic written by a former pharmacy technician instructor? Just wondering

Debbie said...

Well, in you subsequent blog entry you discussed your discomfort with docs prescribing tons of narcotics.
I'm sure there are NPs who aren't the greatest prescribers, just like there are docs who aren't the greatest. In most states NPs are responsible for their own practice. With the way the FDA and DEA are moving with Narcotic abuse avoidance/education, I suspect that tighter regulation will catch up with the few in both types of practitioners who need "reined in". Deb NP