Monday, January 23, 2012

Something to chew on

I logged on to Facebook the other day and saw a status update from one of the guys from my high school days. He was commenting on the service that he received from a few different pharmacies as he was attempting to find on of the medications that is currently in short-supply.

Would it surprise you to find out that one of the national chains didn't even acknowledge him standing at the drop-off window? Not a "we'll be with you in a moment". Not a nod from a pharmacist or tech to let him know that they spotted him. In fact, two different techs/cashiers walked past him at the drop-off window on their way to the pick-up window to wait on people who entered the pharmacy after he did.

Once he was finally waited on, it took over thirty minutes for the pharmacy staff to inform him that the medication was not available. Needless to say, he was disappointed with the service that he received at the pharmacy. Not one to remain quiet, he addressed the store manager about the "extra care" that he received. Did he receive an "I'm sorry" or any form of compassion from the manager?


The manager pointed to a customer comments phone number that was posted on a sign and was told to call the number.

He went to another pharmacy and was able to obtain the medication. In and out, with pharmacist consultation, in under 15 minutes. He was singing praises about the pharmacy that took care of him. Even to the point of giving the address of the pharmacy in the comments after his post.

In my retail days, I never really thought about how people would comment about the care that they received at my pharmacy on the social media sites. We hear about word-of-mouth advertising, but this was the first time that I have seen it play out in the social media. The volume of comments that his update generated was astounding.

If we, as pharmacists, want to be recognized as individual medical providers then the type of service that the first pharmacy provided is unacceptable. Patients aren't going to want to see providers who ignore their presence for 15 minutes. Sadly, this type of service is common from what I've seen of the first pharmacy chain.

If we want to advance the scope of our practice, we need to provide care that exceeds the patient's expectations. We want the social media to have complements about our profession, not complaints.

Isn't there a saying that says it takes 10 positive comments to cancel the effects of one negative one. Maybe we should set that as our benchmark for how we see pharmacy experiences reported in the social media.

Just something to chew on for a little bit.


Anonymous said...

This is interesting. And, to think when I was first thinking about becoming a pharmacist, I had no idea that these issues would be important at all, because a. it was a very long time ago, and the concept of rudeness was quite different then, and b. everything else I was going to say hinges on the fact that things were so very different 20, 30, 40 years ago.

Azanuddin Umaee said...

hi eric, lets share our information about phamacy, im indonesian pharmacists

Nurse and Hospital Stories said...

"If we want to advance the scope of our practice, we need to provide care that exceeds the patient's expectations."

Agree. Same with us nurses, we also need to be careful with the care we provide to our patients. Bad reputation is hard to win again, eh.

Thanks for the share,
Peny@nurse scrubs

Anonymous said...

You have made a very valid point. I absolutely REFUSE to use a certain pharmacy (I won't name names) because when I had pneumonia, they made me wait 15 minutes to even recognize me and another TWO HOURS to inform me that they didn't have my medication. By that time, it was closing time and I had to wait until the next morning to find it at another pharmacy. That's been 7 years ago and I haven't stepped back into that pharmacy since then. I also tell everyone not to use them. I'm still mad about it, after 7 years!!