Magazine article Drug Topics


Magazine article Drug Topics


Article excerpt

Use it or lose it

Re: "Time to break the lock on Doc" [JP at Large, January 2012]

Imagine this scenario,

"Yes, I'm the pharmacist and I need to speak with Dr, So-and-So regarding her patient that's standing here, I have a dose clarification that I need addressed before I can dispense this to the waiting patient,"

"I'm sorry, this is the doctor line,"

"Yes, I'm aware, I'm a doctor,"

"You just said you're a pharmacist, and this is the doctor-only line," Click, Dead silence,

I call back, "Yes, I was just hung up on by one of your staff who didn't realize that pharmacists are doctors technically, I have a PharmD, That means Doctorate of Pharmacy, And now I've wasted another 5 minutes trying to get through your lines, to help OUR patient,"

Or this,

"Hi, I'm the pharmacist on duty and I need to speak with Dr, X regarding this doxycycline prescription he just wrote for a pregnant patient of mine,"

Medical assistant: "Well, I'm sorry but I can't disclose that due to HIPAA,"

I take a big sigh, "You understand pharmacists are licensed healthcare professionals, right? You understand we have a doctoral medical degree and it's not a breach of HIPAA but continuity of care, as I don't want to cause teratogenic effects to your patient's unborn fetus, so I need to find out why we're prescribing this,"

"Um, let me get Dr, X,"

"Thank you, you do that,"

I cannot tell you how many times I've run into these kind of situations in just 5 years of practice. When I signed on with my chain company I cleverly tried to ask for a badge with the title "Dr," when I filled out the form. My name badge was given to me with the title "Staff Pharmacist," Way to avoid the issue, chain drug store. At least some providers' offices have caught on with the fact that there are multiple different kinds of providers, and they now have a "provider-only line" instead of "doctor-only line," These are few and far between, though,

The truth is everyone is scared to anger the AMA and physicians, scared of how to make the change. Unless we address this, it will be taken care of for us, without a choice, as shown by the new legislation JP mentioned. Yet how do we shift this paradigm without confusing patients and angering our physician counterparts? …

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