Pharmacy Access Saves
One observation all pharmacists understand is the nearly unlimited accessibility of pharmacists to the general public. For patients, this is a convenient and sometimes vital service. For pharmacists and their technicians, it is can be an extremely satisfying aspect of our jobs. At times, this ease of access can cause workflow problems for the very busy professionals behind the counter. In short, pharmacy access saves.
In this blog, I endeavor to highlight the great things we pharmacists do in improving the lives of our patients and to show how pharmacy access saves; and to educate the public and the industry about the obstacles and dangers inherent in a complex, overburdened retail pharmacy system.
I Need A Shot
Here’s an example of a wonderful service I was able to provide recently: An elderly woman called the pharmacy asking if she could receive a tetanus shot. She stated that she had cut her leg when the woman and her husband were spreading a manure over a garden. The woman was a regular patient with us. I was able to review her medication profile and run a report from Virginia’s Immunization Information System. She had not received a tetanus immunization in twelve years.
We were quite busy at the time (as usual). But I instructed her to come in right away. With the help of my competent technical staff, we moved around some workload to accommodate this patient. When she arrived, I inspected her wound. Luckily, it was not a deep laceration and did not appear to require sutures or an ER visit. And she said she didn’t want to go to the doctor. I administered her the tetanus shot and instructed her on how to care for the wound. Keep it clean. Apply triple antibiotic ointment. Watch for any signs of infection. The patient was extremely grateful for our speedy attention to her need.
We’re Not a Fast Food Restaurant
This situation is a perfect example of the benefit pharmacists and their technicians serve. She was able to come in without an appointment and receive her shot. This was a patient in true need of an immediate action from the pharmacist (unlike many of the overly demanding patients we sometimes encounter who think we are nothing more a pharmaceutical fast-food restaurant…this public image is one that our industry has cultivated over the last forty years and must fix! New York Times Article). And we averted the need for a visit to the doctor’s office, urgent care center or emergency room.
eMail Me Your Story
Pharmacists and pharmacy techs or patients: Please email me with your stories of how you really served your patients well. I would love to highlight them in this blog. Tell me how Pharmacy Access Saves.
David Perry is a best-selling author and pharmacist. His medical suspense thrillers about pharmacy, medicine and healthcare are available in print, digital and audio formats are available where ever books are sold.