Saturday, April 12, 2014

A day in pharmacy

Last Three hours

It has been a very busy day. Stephanie leaves at 6pm and there is still so much to catch up. I don't have enough tech hours to schedule help. I am working alone. There are lots of prescriptions to fill. A couple of people come in with new prescriptions. I promise them that it may take 15 to 20 minutes to fill if there is no interruption. Patient A and B. I tell them that I am working prescriptions in order.

As I start to fill, I see a person at the other end ready to pick up his prescription (patient C). I leave data entry (new scripts) and I go to the other end to ring out the cash register. Pt gives me his new insurance card. This can be a smooth process or it can be very drawn out. I need to take care of this. 

Phone starts to ring. I put that line on hold saying that I’ll be back as quickly as possible (patient D) . Another phone rings (person E). This is from a hospital. I put this on hold giving my self a mental note that this may be more urgent.

As I am finishing up the new insurance for pt C. Another 2 persons line up to pick up their medicine (person F and G). Patient C is now taken care of. And I am also releasing prescriptions for F. He after ringing up, he decides he does not have enough money so he leaves. I undo all the steps that requires and place the prescription bag back where it belongs. Pt G is taken care of without any problems. Now one of the phone person hung up. Another phone rings. I put this person on hold (person H).

Just as I am about to return to data entry, another two persons (person I and J) line up to pick up the prescriptions. I apologize to them. I need to take care of new prescriptions. They are annoyed. I could read on their face “it only takes a couple of minutes to release medications”

I finish up 2 prescriptions for patient A. and ask them to line up at the register. He is 3rd in line. I take care of them. Then I go back to work on pt B’s prescription. 

Another phone line is ringing (person K) and caller ID says Amthem Insurance. I put that person on hold. Then I finish next person’s 2 prescription. I tell this person to line up at the pick up line after a couple of people that came in. Pick up person gives me a new prescription card which is not paying for the script. I apologize and tell him that I must call the insurance.

A person walks up to reception end and asks 2 prescriptions to be filled. I tell her that right now I am working on several persons ahead of her so it may take a while. She says OK (person L).

Where was I. What was I working on. Oh, call the insurance. After some time, it gets resolved and I release that prescription.  I pick up the  waiting phone call from the hospital and answer a few questions about a patient who got admitted and does not know what medicine he is taking and what he is being treated for. This takes some time. By now other waiting phone line has given up. Fresh phone is ringing. Probably the old waiting person. One call resolved. I pick up next call. Did my doctor call in for my pain medicine? I search and respond, No he has not. On to next waiting call and take care of that need.

Preverification needs to be emptied and I start filling product dispensing. Oh no, the first med is 240 tablets from a bottle of 1000. I continue down the line as I am eating my lunch at 8pm (my last meal was at 10am at home).

I notice from the corner of my eyes, one woman has been walking back and forth then finally comes upto my window. How long do I wait for my prescriptions? I totally forgot about her. Her request is in reception and I totally forgot about her. I apologize perfusely. Her eyes roll. I have no idea how long she has waited. And my thought is “there goes my attempt to provide an excellent service”

So I finish up her products and apologize again. What she saw was that I was peacefully counting other scripts on my que but not hers. I  hoping that she will not complain about my lack of service. 

I take care of her prescriptions quickly then I look at the time. It is 8:57. Store closes in 3 minutes.

I am thinking, the company wants a prescription to be done in 17 minutes or less. Also there are breakdowns of each steps, as to how many minutes. I wonder how many of these steps I have sucessfully taken care of in timely manner. Probably none!

I wake up 3am the next morning and I am wide awake. Things are rushing through my head. What should I have done or could have done. I am not able to fall back asleep and today I am to work 13 hours. Again with only 8 hours of a tech to assist me.