How to Solve Every Problem in Pharmacy

Article excerpt

VIEW FROM THE ZOO

A while ago I was talking with a friend who works in nearby Silicon Valley when I had a revelation that will solve pretty much every major problem the pharmacy profession faces. It might not surprise you that the solution to what ails us comes from the land of big ideas. The place where some guy named Jobs started a business in his garage that changed the world. Big ideas come from Silicon Valley, and it would seem only right that the solutions to pharmacy's big problems should come from there. That part isn't surprising at all.

Whaf s suiprising is that I am about to share the solution with you. Right here, right now, and I'm going to do it for free.

The back stray

My friend, you see, is a computer programmer. And one day his employer came up with a plan to cut the amount of time it would take to "debug" the code in a new project. The company would pay its programmers for each error they found, giving them the incentive that has motivated every worker since the beginning of capitalism: cold, hard cash.

The number of errors found skyrocketed and I'm sure the genius who thought up this scheme looked in the minor and basked in the reflected glow of success. Bonus checks went out to the programmers as promised because metrics were being consistently met. It seemed like a win- win for everyone.

But here's the thing. The project didn't seem to be going forward any faster. By any measure, the number of bugs in the code being brought to management's attention was through the roof, but there were still too many being found to speed up the overall job. What was going on?

As it turned out, the programmers were creating bugs of their own to put into the code, and then they were claiming credit for finding them. Even in the home of the iPhone, Facebook and the tablet computer, evidently things happen that would be indistinguishable from the antics at Dunder Mifflin.

Here it cranes

I promised you a solution to the problems of pharmacy, though, and this story illustrates it perfectly. Are you ready? Fasten your seatbelt, because the drugstore business revolution is about to be revealed. Here it comes.

You get what you pay for.

That's the lesson to remember here. If all you pay for is computer bugs, thaf s all you're going to get. Similarly, if all you pay for is 30 pills in a bottle, thaf s all you're going to get. …