Saturday, November 13, 2010

Some Thoughts on Working the Community Pharmacy Part 2

Drive thru in pharmacy can be the biggest help and the biggest pain all in one package. The idea is that you don't have to get out of your car, walk inside the building, go to the back of the store, get your prescriptions, and walk back. This is especially helpful for those who have difficulty walking, have a very contagious disease, or have another condition that would make getting into the store a difficult task. The biggest trouble with drive thru is that many people equate faster service to instant service. The time saver has more to do with the aspect of parking the car, going into the store and so on. Drive thru doesn't mean that the prescription bag will be ready and waiting in hand the moment you drive up or even soon thereafter. The same issues one could face coming in the pharmacy building are ones that will be dealt with at the pharmacy drive thru.

Insurance will always be a constant. Insurance changes with job changes, yearly enrollment, life changes, and other more minor events. It will always have to be updated. These issues can crop up without warning and often do, which is why it is impossible for anyone to predict when they come in or go through drive thru that their issue may take some time to resolve. Thus, it doesn't make sense to say that people who have insurance issues should come inside, because you can't exactly plan for this. Neither is it fair for those who have insurance issues to come inside. They have their reasons for going through drive thru and theirs, like everyone else's, should be respected.

Sometimes the pharmacist needs to go over the medication with the patient. At times that can be in great detail and take a great deal of time. Drive thru doesn't mean poor patient education nor does it mean that the patient already knows about their medication. They have the right to the same treatment in drive thru as they do if they come inside.

With that understanding, there are a few things that people must understand when they go through drive thru.

*Medication is an important part of improving and maintaining good health. However, all medication comes with risks and those risks are lessened with good patient education about the medication. As such, please refrain from using a cell phone, blasting loud music, or being too distracted by the passengers in the car to actually listen to the pharmacist. Not only is it rude, but it can also be potentially dangerous.

*If you don't want your health information shared with everyone in the car, either come inside where you can have a one on one with the pharmacist or come alone to pick up your medication. We try to keep the speaker sound down enough that only the car next to the speaker can listen in on the conversation, but we can't just limit it to the driver's seat- there's no way to keep the rest of the car from listening in to the conversation.

*Be patient. As previously mentioned, faster doesn't mean instant. The medication has to be located, rang up on the register, and the pharmacist must counsel, that's the law. Refill, new ones, doesn't matter. Patience is key in making the experience pleasant and as easy as possible.