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...