Thursday, August 16, 2007

Nothing a little exercise won't help...

I've been feeling a little down lately for no particular reason. Today, I had the day off, and I finally got off my lazy ass and got some exercise. I don't really like your typical forms of exercise (gym, treadmills, runnings, etc.). To me, doing that stuff is just exercising for the sake of exercising. I need to have some sort of point to my physical activity. Therefore, whenever possible, I get my exercise in the form of sports (usually basketball). Today, I went down to the nearest park and just shot hoops by myself for over an hour.

This simple act does wonders for my mood. I'm happy and full of energy now. Put it this way... I'm almost ready to face the long work day tomorrow... almost.

Fridays always suck at work. For one, we get a big order in on Fridays, which means we have to divide our time between usual pharmacy tasks and putting away the order. With the order comes like 20-30 extra scripts we have to fill in the form of "owes" (we didn't have enough medication the first time we tried filling it, so we had to owe the patient when we get our order). In addition, we have to spend time filling our ScriptPro machine, which by Friday has run out of several drugs.

This brings me to another issue... Automatic Inventory Management, which is a fancy way of saying computerized ordering. Now, I've never worked in another retail pharmacy, so I don't know how this works in other stores, but it ABSOLUTELY SUCKS in our store. Suppposedly the system calculates a reorder point every morning based on the number of units of each drug used over the past 16 weeks. It supposedly factors in average quantities dispensed per week, per day, as well as highest quantities dispensed per week and day. Then it takes into account that we get 2 orders per week and somehow determines a reorder point.

That sounds great, but it doesn't work all that well. When we create an order, incredibly expensive, rarely used stuff like Lovenox, Betaseron, Procrit, Xeloda, and Xifaxin automatically appear on the order, so we always have to go in and manually remove them. On the otherhand, stuff we use a whole shitload of (Lipitor, Singulair, Nexium, generic Vicodin, etc.) never shows up in a high enough quantity. Therefore, we have to go back and manually adjust those quantities too.

This begs the question: What the fuck is the point of computerized ordering if we have to go back and redo the whole damn thing anyway????

With the old system, we always had an order window up on one of our terminals. Every time we used up a bottle of something, we put it on the order. I had the ScriptPro set up so that the low quantity of each drug was basically the reorder point, so all you had to do was print the "cells to refill" list and order the "low quantity" worth of every drug on that list (i.e. Lipitor 10mg's low quantity was set at 1,000, so any time we had less than 1,000 tablets of Lipitor 10mg, it would show up on the "cells to refill" list, and we'd go and order roughly 1,000 tablets of it). It was a pretty simple system. Since we were reordering anything not in ScriptPro as we used it, on the days we had to send an order, all I needed was like 20 minutes to punch in the stuff from ScriptPro.

Now, it takes me over an hour to do the damn order, which is really fucking stupid considering automatic inventory management was supposed to make this easier on us. They keep telling us that it gets better after you've been on the system for a couple months. I'll believe it when I see it.


pepperpourri said...

Computer systems are terrible when they don't work well. This reminds me of the time I did my training at this hospital pharmacy.

So coincidently, the first day of my training was the first day they started using a new computer system! There were lots of problems, and according to the staff, the old system was better.

Anyway, there was once where the computer system went haywire and the computers froze! Patients were waiting impatiently (they knew about the problems with the system) and so, explaining to them was no use. Then, this man came up to the counter to ask why his prescription was taking so long to fill. The dispensary aide (we call them that over here), pretended to be busy with the computer and told him to wait. She even pretend to key in orders into the computer! Hahaha. We were laughing at the back because the computer wasn't even functioning! We had no choice because telling the patients about the system would seem like an excuse for their long wait. Besides, the IT people had not yet arrive.

In the end, they had to do it manually, and for that whole week, staff had to stay back and work OT, just to get the things key into the system.

Anonymous said...

check your counts of everything then trust the system. It is going to take some time but for the most part once you get your counts right the system works. But remember, the computer does not know that you filled a one time script for Betaseron. It just thinks it needs to reorder since you sold one. That is where you must override the system. Also have some plan in place to maintain the counts.