What is more important… getting your prescription(s) QUICKLY… or… CORRECTLY ?

“CVS Pharmacy is currently forcing its pharmacy employees, both pharmacists and technicians, to sign off on a learning module that forces them to comply with the company’s limited and dangerous computer downtime procedures. These downtime procedures (RxConnect Offline) include the filling of prescriptions with limited patient history data and no failsafes in place to prevent errors. When CVS’s computer system goes out, a process called Downtime starts up. This Downtime process allows pharmacy employees to fill prescriptions in a very limited capacity. However, all is not well in Whoville… While in Downtime, Brand name drugs will not substitute to their generic counterparts allowing the chance for improper drug pick errors. SIG codes will not populate in the computer allowing the chance for direction input errors. And, perhaps most interesting of all, all patient cost copays will have to be determined at the pharmacy employees’ discretions which, if figured incorrectly, is a breach of the contract pricing agreed upon by federal Medicare plans, state Medicaids, and other 3rd party payors. All hard copy scanning for visual verification of the Rx written info and all drug utilization review functions are disabled, meaning that the pharmacy staff and pharmacists have to fill and check the prescriptions without the whole medical picture. The downtime program has no listings for patient allergies, medical conditions, or past medication usage and history. (The med history only goes back a few months while in downtime… Nevermind that erythromyin Rx the patient could have restarted from last year! That doesn’t cause any interactions, does it?) Also, throw in the fact that CVS purposely understaffs their stores and pharmacies in an attempt to save payroll. A stressful and overworked environment now becomes a hazardous hellhole when the computers are not doing what they are supposed to. What a complete recipe for disaster and another dangerous situation for patients to be in! CVS Learnet module 200017 asks all pharmacy employees to sign off on several pieces of information including an agreement to verify all waiting prescriptions, all prescriptions due within 1 hour, and to data enter all new and incoming prescriptions. This learning module also asks pharmacy employees to sign off on a legal acknowledgement that states: “I acknowledge that I have received and read, and I understand and agree to abide by the policies, procecdures and training set forth in the RxConnect Offline Fills Best Practices (#200017) training.” Let’s not forget CVS’s tag-line of “up to and including termination” if you don’t do what their corporate stooges say! So basically, CVS reserves the right to terminate the employment of any pharmacist or pharmacy technician who refuses to comply with the filling of medications while their computer system is down, no matter how dangerous the consequences could be. They are also using this sign off as an opportunity to shift all blame for medication misfills onto the pharmacist who is being legally forced (at risk of firing) to fill Rxs in this stressful and alarming environment. Here’s an idea, CVS… Stop bringing your crappy computer system down on already busy and stressful Mondays. Stop forcing your pharmacists and technicians to knowingly endanger patient lives. Stop threatening your employees’ jobs to cover your own shortcomings. Stop shifting all blame away from yourselves so your shareholders stay rich. Just because you’ve figured out that medication misfill lawsuits can be bought off cheaper than what it costs to come up with better computer systems and to better staff your pharmacies, doesn’t mean you should do it. We know you corporate slimeballs call it “the cost of doing business”. Will you continue to call it that if it’s your loved one who gets hurt? Come up with a better computer system, one that doesn’t go down regularly, allow proper and safe pharmacy staffing, and keep the people who depend on these medications safe!”

3 Responses

  1. […] few days ago, I made this post What is more important… getting your prescription(s) QUICKLY… or… CORRECTLY ?    which was a CVS memo instructing their pharmacists to fill prescriptions when their computer […]

  2. What is more important….a prescription filled quickly, correctly or filled period? ALL of the above. 23 years of a schedule 2 substance filled for 23 years for pain management and I have but once, had a problem. Not bad for the doctor visit or pain managment specialist visit, written prescription, and fill as directed by the physician. E-scribe only a couple months it its’ implementation and I have already had two instances of error for two prescriptions to fill every 8 weeks for over 7 years. I am willing to see if the “bugs” can be worked out but, my pain never stops. It is critical that what little medication I am “allowed” now be filled correctly, accurately, and promptly. MY opinion only!

  3. OMG!! Let’s go back 30 years when a Pharmacist has to know by education the name of the Brand name and the generic by memory, not just picking by alphabetical order. They had to update and know the AWP to put into the hand generated UNIVERSAL CLAIM form for manual submission. The only cross check and verification occurs when plucked off the shelf and returned by visual verification against the hard copy. All liability fell to the pharmacist like in the REAL word while one technician and Pharmacist on a dot matrix Printer fills 350 RXS a day, runs the Registar, orders and restocked the OTC department. When done we followed up on all the rejected universal claims forms.
    What is a Pharmacist to do in down time?
    Just crazy.

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