I'm so damn funny it's a wonder I can be around myself all day without my head exploding.
At any rate, here's my original post featuring a source I've dubbed "Deep Pill" exposing what life is like in the real world of a Walgreens central-fill POWER pharmacy. Tonight we'll let "Deep Pill 2" give us the scoop on conditions at a POWER retail store. I am tired of body and weak of brain this night, so I'm pretty much just gonna run Deep Pill's story unedited. I'm sure you'll agree that story speaks for itself. And that we're all, pharmacists and customers alike, very fucked if Walgreen's gets its way:
I worked for the WAG in AZ for just about 10 years. I have seen many changes... but not as destructive as POWER. Your article about POWER was spot-on. I wanted to share with you some of the problems I experienced with POWER during my tenure at the WAG.
WAG, for those of you not in the know, is Walgreen's stock symbol.
I was the pharmacist at the store-level. Not sure if you were aware of this... but anyone who wanted to remain a staff pharmacist at the store-level when POWER was rolled out, had to re-apply for the job. I kid you not. After working for a solid 8 years, I had to re-apply for my job. For those pharmacists who wanted to transfer to the CPO, they did not have to re-apply-- they were automatically accepted. Then WAG spent a TON of money to hire an independent hiring company to make the determination whether or not we could remain a staff pharmacist at the store level. This whole process was absolutely stressful on all of us. Pharmacy managers who wanted to stay at store level were exempt from re-applying.
I made the cut. Great, right? Not so much. I had to deal with understaffing, angry customers who were misrouted by our "colleagues" at the call center, managing two lanes in the drive-thru, customers at the counter, and customers at the consultation window. I forgot to mention flu shots. Now POWER looks great on paper. All this "free time" to provide MTM services (which all our friends at APhA are probably orgasming to...). This simply wasn't the case. (emphasis mine) Because of the lack of staffing, we had zero time to perform MTM services. Our District Supervisors told us time and time again to call upon the store manager if we needed extra help in the pharmacy. Well, a lot of the store managers were not willing to come back to help us out. They had their own crap to do. I don't blame them... but I digress.
One of the biggest problems I had to deal with was the amount of errors that I caught from our wonderful "colleagues" at the call center (CPO). These errors were careless and made my job a lot harder. Let me give you an example. I was counseling a patient on her Prometh w/ Codeine. The sig: Take one or two TABLETS every 6 hours as needed for cough. Now I know this may not sound like a huge deal... but I have a huge problem letting a prescription leave my pharmacy that has a blatant error. In order to fix this, I had to delete the prescription, find the hard copy, re-scan it so that our wonderful CPO can retype it. Mind you, this patient is in the drive-thru wanting to get home because she's feeling lousy. So the whole verification process at the CPO starts all over again...
The District Supervisors encouraged us to fill out an error form online so they can take proper corrective measures with the people at the CPO. (Drugmonkey to malpractice lawyers; those error forms are no doubt stored somewhere, and subpoenable I bet) I have no idea if that was done or not. I'd still get error after error. Let me say this: I totally understand that technicians make mistakes while performing data entry. What makes me frustrated is when pharmacists at the CPO are under pressure to "make their numbers" and when quantity takes precedence over quality. This isn't totally the pharmacists' fault. I'm sure the corporate 'tards stress the importance of quantity quantity quantity. These verification pharmacists at the CPO did not have to worry about the drive-thru, phones, customers, etc. Their ONLY job is to verify prescriptions without any distractions. One error (which I caught) was Augmentin 500mg Take 4 tablets an hour prior to dental appointment. Of course the prescription image said Amoxicillin. And of course, we at the store-level looked like retards when the patient came in to pick up their medication. We had to take the blame from the patients for the errors that were made at CPO. What makes this so ironic is that the pharmacists at the store-level actually prevented harm to the patient. We were not allowed to talk bad or against the people at the CPO.
Arizona is a mandatory counseling state. I have seen pharmacists who do not counsel. Combine that with the errors at the CPO can lead to a disaster.
I'd be willing to bet a Benjamin that it already has.
And that we're all fucked.
Thank you APhA.
Thank you Boards of Pharmacy.
But the biggest thanks of all..... goes to the Pharmacy America Trusts.
At least they're still a decent place to buy cigarettes.