Ethics vs Metrics

I have had the fortune that the largest chain that I have worked for had about 50 stores and since I opened my own store in 1976… all of those chains have since fallen by the wayside. So I don’t have any first hand knowledge of all the metrics that RPh’s typically complain about with the major chain stores.

It would appear that the genesis of all of these metrics is some non-pharmacists MBA who is enamored with their EXCEL spreadsheet. They have neither the understanding of what it takes to properly – and accurately – fill a prescription…nor do they have any personal responsibility or liability when the pharmacy dept – in trying to achieve these metrics – has a misfill and a patient is harmed …or even worse outcome.

Pharmacists seem to have capitulated their professional responsibilities and ethics.. to all of these non-pharmacists demands. Usually the comment is …” … if I don’t do what they want.. I will lose my job…” Of course, if the Pharmacist is not allowed to properly – and accurately – do their job… the Pharmacist may end up not long losing their JOB.. their LICENSE.. and maybe even their FREEDOM  (being jailed).

Today, I got a email from one of the temp services that I have worked for and this email was from a person that got promoted to “national account manager”… this email was sent because he was basically introducing himself to everyone who have worked for this temp agency.

Here is a small quote from this message   It means greeting guests with friendly smiles even when you think you are too busy. It means fast and accurate work.

He  claims that he has worked for this temp service for eight years. I looked up his profile on LinkedIn and according to that listing .. he has a BS in Pol Sci and a Master in Education. It would appear – at least to me – that he is clueless about interruptions can be the genesis of med errors…  so what he is expecting of these temp RPH’s could be – at times – not mutually inclusive.

Does anyone not believe that part of our plight…is caused by the reimbursements as set (negotiated) by the PBM’s and Medicaid/Medicare?

The PBM’s started in 1969/1970 and indy’s numbers peaked in the mid-70’s when ~ 2/3 of the stores where indy’s and ~1/3 were chains and a LARGE CHAIN had 500-1000 stores. Since the mid-70’s our population has increased by 50% while the total number of pharmacies have remained rather consistent… but the ratio of indy/chain has flipped and we have at least three chains with 5000 + stores each.

The only other things that has really changed, is that in the mid-70’s to current is that the PBM’s went from <10% of the Rx market to 80%-90%.

“back when”… before the PBM’s the only metrics that were of concern… where if Rx count, gross sales, net profit was higher this year than last year… it was a pretty good measurement of  customer satisfaction… no other metrics were necessary.

One Response

  1. Steve said: “back when”… before the PBM’s the only metrics that were of concern… where if Rx count, gross sales, net profit was higher this year than last year… it was a pretty good measurement of customer satisfaction… no other metrics were necessary.

    Steve — you got it right! The only metrics worth noting is sales, rx count, and net profit. I will add one more: prescription errors. If you have a pharmacist that is making a lot of errors and you have a lawsuit, then that should count too. But, all this other crap is the biggest bunch of bull I have ever seen. These stupid chains have gone nuts over metrics. I can remember, at one time, when Wal-Mart told us to go out of the pharmacy and greet the customers and shake their hands. Ok…while we are doing this, who is filling the rx’s? Does that mean that every time a customer walks up to drop off a rx that we, the pharmacist, are suppose to go out and shake their hand? This did not last long. But, it is just one of the examples of crap that we pharmacists face within these stupid chains. Now, it is phoning, or should I say harassing people at home, by telling them they have meds to come and pick up. Well, if they needed those meds, don’t you think they would come and get them? Duh! How many rx’s that I find a tech has inputted incorrectly did I send back to the tech to correct? I mean this is a biggie! Measure…measure….measure. I would like to measure them! I can find plenty of metrics where they are failing! I vote we all go on strike until these idiot chains stop this crap!

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