Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mom of the year

I know it's been a while, work and life have gotten in the way of blogging.
But this lady yesterday was just SOOOOOOO stupid, I had to make time to tell you all about it.

Lat night, about 8pm, a woman and her two daughters come to my pharmacy to ask advice about hydrocortisone cream. "The doctor said to put this on my daughter's burn, and I don't know which one to get." Hydrocortisone on a burn? I had to ask questions...
"Is that your daughter? (looking at a 7 or 8 year old)" Mom picks up the smaller child and sits her on my drop off counter "No, it's this one" Child looks to be about 3 years old, and the skin on her face, mainly around her eyes, is all red and puffy. "What happened? Do you know what caused this burn?" It didn't look much like a burn to me, so I had to know details. Then the mom of the year story came out...
"Well, she got into my makeup. So, I used hot soapy water to try to wash it off, and it wouldn't all come off, so then I tried nail polish remover" Alrighty then....
Who on God's green Earth would take makeup off with nail polish remover???? Come ON lady, would you put it on your OWN face? No? Then why did you put it on your CHILD'S face??? Around her EYES no less???
I picked out a hydrocortisone product for her, told her not to use it more than a couple of days, and to follow up with the doctor again if it didn't improve by then. Then, I hoped that the kid didn't ever get into makeup again...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What rock have you been living under?

I had a really stupid question from a patient yesterday... One that made me question which planet she'd been living on recently.
This lady approaches the counseling window, so I walk over and said "Do you have a question?" She replied "Yes. I haven't been feeling well, and was wondering... Is the flu going around?" I almost laughed out loud! Seriously - what media outlet HASN'T talked about the dreaded swine flu? Apparently she doesn't get TV signals or the newspaper delivered to that rock she's been living under...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I am in control....

Of all the insurance companies, apparently.
The other day, I had a couple of patients call me names just because I wouldn't make their insurances cover the prescriptions for them.
Patient one - Insurance coverage through a union. I work for a non-union company, and occasionally, union insurances will cancel their contracts just to prove a point (what point, I'm not sure - that they are asses who enjoy making their members drive all over town looking for a place to get their meds?) So, I'm explaining to the patient that it appears that the contract with their insurance has not been renewed, and suggest that they call the insurance and ask which pharmacies are included in the plan. "But it worked last month!" Yeah. You're right. But that was last month... As the patient stomped off, his wife tells him that we (the pharmacy employees) are a bunch of dimwits. Why can't people wait to get around the corner before badmouthing us rather than spouting off in front of the drop off window? Do they think that tech doesn't work for us?
Patient two - secondary coverage through state medicaid (aka welfare for all you non-pharmacy readers). Medicaid rejects claim with a message that patient is no longer covered. "But it worked last month!" Yeah - everybody's insurance worked last month, what's new? I suggest to the patient that he contact his case manager to ask about it. "OH! So now it's someone ELSE'S fault?" How do I answer a stupid question like that??? "Yup. See, I'm not sitting in that office where I can click the covered/not covered button on your profile. All I do is submit the claim - they decide if you're covered. Not me." Patient two calls me a dumb bitch (in front of the drop off window) as he stomps off. I just smile and wave...

Friday, April 24, 2009

It ALL costs money, honey...

Yesterday, I got a call from a doctor. No, not his office assistant, receptionist, or nurse - the doctor himself called. My tech tells me the doctor wants to talk to me so I pick up the phone and say "Thanks for holding, how can I help you?"
"For starters, you can quit sending refill requests to me for John Doe. I already denied them twice!" So I launch into the standard explanation (usually given to a nurse) about our system being automated. When the patient uses the automated system, a fax automatically - hence the term automated - goes to the doctor. When we get denials, we attempt to contact the patient and let them know, but it doesn't always sink in, and they call again.
"It costs MONEY to get someone to pull the chart every time you send me a fax!" I suggest to the doctor that, since the patient obviously doesn't believe that his refills have been denied, maybe one of his staff should call the patient and say "Your refills have been denied until you have an appointment - would you like to schedule one now?" The doctor, whom I will now refer to as jackass, tells me "We don't have time for that. That's why I faxed you a note to tell him!" WTF? Since when did I become his messenger??? And we fill more than 400 scripts a day - we don't have time either! I started wondering if he sees 400 patients a day...
I pull up the profile, and - lo and behold - there are scripts already filled! I look at the scripts and say "Well, Julia authorized these last week. Do you have a Julia at your office?" Jackass pauses and says "Um, I don't know. Maybe. But I didn't approve those, so cancel them." OK. Done. We cordially end our conversation.
Five minutes later, the phone rings, and my tech tells me Dr Jackass is on the phone again. "Uh, yeah.... I just got my message from Julia. Go ahead and let John Doe have those, but remind him he needs an appointment" Here we go with the messenger service again... "I already returned those to stock. Now I have to re-enter them from scratch. That costs MONEY, you know..." I'm chuckling and seething all at once.
So, I process them, and include on the labels "Needs appointment for further refills". I print extra labels, attach them to a fax cover sheet and jot a note to jackass... "This is how we notify patients that they need appointments. If the patient fails to make one and asks for more refills, YOUR staff will have to contact him. I've done my part. Sincerely, SOSP, pharmacy manager"
It made me feel better to send that fax (even though it cost me more MONEY), but Dr Jackass made me pissy the whole day...

Monday, April 6, 2009

What a great idea!

Last night, my husband and I were watching television when a preview of the new sitcom, Parks and Rec, came on. It's made by the producers of The Office, and stars Amy Poehler. My husband works for a city parks and rec department, so he's interested to see it. All of a sudden, he blurts out "They should make a show about pharmacy!" I agreed wholeheartedly - it would be funny, but give the public an education at the same time.
Now if only I knew a screenwriter and a big TV producer...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Think you know so much???

Don't you just hate people who think they know EVERYTHING???
I had one of those as a customer recently...
A prescription had been faxed to us from the doctor for some antibiotic eye drops. The directions said "Apply to affected area 4 times a day" and it said to dispense seven. Most people might think, "OK, the affected area is the eye" Ahhhh! Not necessarily so! Many podiatrists prescribe eye or ear drops to be applied to ingrown toenails. This doctor was not a podiatrist, however, so we jotted a note asking for clarification, and faxed it back to the doctor.
Fast forward a few hours. The patient (actually the patient's mom, I think - it MIGHT be the same little gal that thinks she's not a minor just because she had a baby) shows up. We tell her we need to clarify the prescription, we faxed the doctor, but haven't heard back yet. What's wrong with it, she asks, and we tell her about the unclear directions.
"Well, DUUHH! They're eye drops! What are you, stupid?" I'm in shock that anyone would speak to me this way, but I try to remain professional. "No, we're not stupid, we know what they're usually used for, but in our experience, that's not always the case." "My daughter has pinkeye! DUH! They're EYE drops!" "Yes, they are, usually, and we had no way of knowing about pinkeye from this fax..." She interrupts me and goes on about how stupid I am...
I hand the fax to her and say "If you are going to treat us that way, you can go somewhere else. Goodbye."
Hopefully, sometime in the not-so-distant future, I hope she tries to treat her toenail by putting eye drops in her eye... It would serve the little brat right to get gangrene...

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Hard Pill to Swallow...

The other day, we had a script come in for prenatal vitamins for a 15 year-old girl. OK, I get it, kids are having sex and getting pregnant younger and younger these days. But, on the script, the doctor wrote "Patient needs chewable tablets" - and the really stupid thing is that they exist! Yes, some companies make chewable prenatal vitamins...
Maybe the doctor and parents should have thought ahead and gotten the girl chewable birth control pills. Yeah, they make those too...