Is Delay of care…unprofessional conduct ?

I practice at an independent pharmacy. Calling a ******* chain pharmacy averages 10-15 minutes of being on hold before I or my staff ever gets to a person. In response, when the chain pharmacy calls me, I leave them on hold for several minutes so they can see what it is like: frustrating and time-consuming. Recently, a patient saw me do this and asked what was going on. A staff member explained. The patient filed a complaint with the state board of pharmacy.
Am I in trouble?
Quite possibly, yes.
Though PLS understands your frustration and has had the same experience many times, this is what the patient saw:
Delay in care.
Whatever the chain pharmacy was calling about—transfer out, transfer in, patient info, check on drug availability—the result was that some aspect of patient care was put off while you retaliated. “Delay of care” is usually not listed in state pharmacy law as a violation of pharmacy law, but “unprofessional conduct” is.
Unprofessional conduct is defined as conduct that is unethical, dishonest or FALLS BELOW THE STANDARDS OF YOUR PROFESSION. This covers a range of conduct and behavior when we practicing. It is also a reminder that pharmacists have standards of practice to meet due diligence in providing patient care. Not delaying patient care, even for a few minutes, fits into that category.
Should your state board of pharmacy decide your act in leaving the chain pharmacy on hold unnecessarily falls into the unprofessional conduct law, you are going to have the burden of showing that no delay in care resulted from this.
Again, your frustration is understandable and is shared by many of your colleagues. But be professional.

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