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brady23

How to improve efficiency between doctors and pharmacists?

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Basically, my HCP gave me a prescription and I went to fill it today, however, the prescription was missing important OHIP coverage details. So, the pharmacist tried multiple times contacting the doctor by phone and fax to no avail. I try myself, and can only reach the receptionist who says "I'll let them know"

I decide to go back to the HCP myself because I don't have the luxury of waiting hours/days for the doctor to respond. I let the receptionist know and the doctor comes out. They seemed flustered because I caught them off-guard and they tell me they're busy and I'd have to wait until the end of the day (even though it only would require 5 minutes of their time to fix this problem that THEY caused in the first place). Luckily, they listened to me after advocating for myself

This whole ordeal took hours (would've probably taken days if I didn't do anything), and only required 5 minutes of the doctor's time. I think there should be more responsibility on physicians to promptly respond to these pharmacy requests. I get you're seeing patients but if you made a mistake, why should patients be waiting hours (and who knows days for some patients) for you to pick up the phone to correct your mistake?

Sorry about the rant - just a bit frustrated 

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Hey. First off, I am sorry to hear this happened. I do understand that you are frustrated and this delay is not ideal. I think you bring an important point about collaboration in a health care setting. For a pharmacist, approaching a physician with recommendations shows that they care for the patient under that physician’s care. Aside from that important fact, it’s a key moment for them to formally present themself and willingly offer a hand if anything concerning medications arises. Politely expressing their desire to help may open additional opportunities to grow professionally in the future. However, not every physician will acknowledge the way pharmacist or patients expect. I think as you point out, failure to detect or communicate prescription error is not good for the patients wellbeing. I think we need to integrate pharmacists into primary care practices to ensure effective communication. It the pharmacist is unable to reach a physician in a timely manner, the pharmacist should proceed with adapting the prescription (this can be one approach). However, the Standard 5.0 of the Standards For Pharmacist Practice gives some criteria as to what a pharmacist must consider. for eg. “A pharmacist must not dispense a drug or blood product under prescription unless the pharmacist has determined the prescription is current, authentic, complete and appropriate.” It would be nice to standardize a process where communication between a physician and pharmacist is guaranteed during urgent/emergency situations.

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9 minutes ago, strawberryjams said:

It would be nice to standardize a process where communication between a physician and pharmacist is guaranteed during urgent/emergency situations.

Thanks so much! I realize this isn't a big deal, this wasn't an emergency situation - but I was so frustrated. And I definitely place 100% of the blame on the doctor - the pharmacist is just doing their job

Mainly because this could be solved in 5 minutes and I tried relentlessly to call the doctor, only got hold of their receptionist who said "they'd let them know", so after waiting a bit, I decided to go there in person which was necessary for it to get done in a timely manner 

And to top it all off, instead of giving me 5 minutes of the their time (i.e. like letting me come into their office to discuss this, after all, I was there an hour earlier when you wrote me the prescription), the doctor made it seem like I was in the wrong for their mistake and I had to explain the situation in the waiting room in front of so many patients ugh

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2 minutes ago, brady23 said:

Thanks so much! I realize this isn't a big deal - but I was so frustrated.

Mainly because this could be solved in 5 minutes and I tried relentlessly to call the doctor, only got hold of their receptionist who said "they'd let them know", so after waiting a bit, I decided to go there in person which was necessary for it to get done in a timely manner 

And to top it all off, instead of giving me 5 minutes of the their time (i.e. like letting me come into their office to discuss this), the doctor made it seem like I was in the wrong for their mistake and I had to explain the situation in the waiting room in front of so many patients ugh

I am so sorry this happened and hope you were able to get the issue handled. I believe we as future doctors can improve the system in the future by streamlining the processes and improve patient outcomes/collaboration w/ health professionals.

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3 minutes ago, strawberryjams said:

I am so sorry this happened and hope you were able to get the issue handled. I believe we as future doctors can improve the system in the future by streamlining the processes and improve patient outcomes/collaboration w/ health professionals.

Aw thanks I feel better ranting about it XD

And I got it solved but it was a hassle but worth it (made the difference between paying nothing vs. $60 for out of pocket)! 

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1 hour ago, A-Stark said:

To play devil's advocate, "OHIP coverage details" are not typical aspects of prescriptions. This seems more like an insurance issue. 

All the same, pharmacies almost always get a hold of me through switchboard. 

Agreed - but there should be a way to contact a doctor directly without going through a receptionist and waiting hours for a response back

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8 hours ago, brady23 said:

Agreed - but there should be a way to contact a doctor directly without going through a receptionist and waiting hours for a response back

I can assure you that once you are a practising staff physician, you will not want a patient to be able to contact you directly without going through a receptionist.

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11 hours ago, ArchEnemy said:

I can assure you that once you are a practising staff physician, you will not want a patient to be able to contact you directly without going through a receptionist.

Definitely. Should appreciate that in clerkship, even. Haha.

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