Ohh, where did the time go? Thanksgiving, Christmas, and now January (normally "hell month" because of insurance changes and most people's neglect of carrying that new insurance card and general cluelessness about their own insurance coverage.) Yeah... remember that "high-deductible" plan you signed up for? Yeah, that is why your prescriptions are not SIX DOLLARS anymore. I know they USED to be, but they are NOT NOW. And apparently it's me, the sweaty, wild-eyed, hungry, tired and full-bladdered pharmacist that has to explain that to you. And by the way, please don't cough on me.
I was attempting to read some sort of Medication Safety Newsletter the other day, full of breathless phrases like, "learners attend sessions on patient safety, pharmacy processes, human factors, and identifying potential hazards in a patient’s environment of care. They gain hands-on experience by following a medication from order entry to administration and identifying vulnerable points and possible solutions." and......."The 90-member team is a network of physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, and other healthcare professionals who serve as ‘lifeguards’ for providers traumatized by an unanticipated event or error. " It had been a particularly hellacious day at my job as a retail pharmacist, and it just struck me whether the people writing these things have any idea at all about the working conditions that most pharmacists on the front lines (ie, community) endure. Um, yeah, I think we could all identify a few of those 'vulnerable points' --- as in, well..... (see any pharmacy blog).
I saw my first pre-stamped prescription for Vicodin 5/300. This is the new lower-strength- acetaminophen Vicodin which is not interchangeable with the generic 5/325, which is the only thing anybody stocks. So time was wasted calling the dentist's office in question, where someone (probably the receptionist) brightly assured me that the generic would be fine! I can only hope that after the 500th pharmacy call that this dentist's office will get rid of those pre-stamped prescriptions.
I waited on a customer whose main complaint appeared to be a stuffy nose. She had 5, count-em, FIVE prescriptions, including saline spray, Flonase spray, Sudafed, Mucinex and of course, amoxicillin. All covered. Seemed like a bit of overkill to me. (See previous blog post about excess time spent screwing around with OTC prescriptions.)
Spent a lot of time with an elderly lady who had initially been given samples of a very expensive patch, found they worked well, got a prescription, and was now discovering they were not covered by her insurance. Oh, the hazards of samples... and somehow it's up to me to fix it.
Does anyone out there show up at grocery store 5 minutes before closing with a 2-page shopping list and dozens and dozens of questions for the staff who are trying to go home? I wish people wouldn't do that at the pharmacy. It's just inconsiderate and not right, especially when it's something that could and should have been dealt with earlier, or called in ahead of time.
New Year's resolution -- find more time for blog posts.... it's therapeutic!