Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Rotation 2: Warren Prescriptions - Independent Community

Posted by Alison Van Kampen at Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Hello All!

For rotation 2 I was scheduled at Warren Sav-Mor Prescriptions in Farmington Hills.  This is an independent community pharmacy, which I chose because I have experience in a retail pharmacy and I thought this would be a different experience.  In some ways it was, but as a rotation, I don't think it was really much different from other community rotation sites.

For an independent pharmacy, this was a very busy store and here is a basic breakdown of each day.

  • Start out the day by calling doctor's offices to request refills, request prior authorizations, ask questions to clarify prescriptions, and verify prescriptions that were not signed or sent properly.
  • Next, is a combination of counting pills, answering the phone, taking prescriptions (over the phone and brought in by patients), and answering the occasional patient questions until lunch (basic tech work, except the answering questions part of course).
  • After lunch, continue tech work and discussion with the pharmacist if he/she has time.
  • Discussion consisted of
    • OTC products
    • Dispensing laws and insurance requirements for reimbursement
    • Business concerns for independent pharmacies
    • Student questions
What I learned:
  • Brand/generics - drugs are organized by brand name so I was forced to learn brand names better
  • Laws and Insurance policies - since it is a small store they are much more concerned about following laws and filling prescriptions to the exact specifications set forth by insurance companies. They do this because they are more acutely aware of monetary issues and want to ensure that they minimize financial penalties.
  • Small business concerns - this mostly consisted of costs and possible profits for filling prescriptions as well as providing additional services and maintaining customers
  • Frequent checking - the store had an older computer system and did not use the barcode system.  This meant constantly checking NDCs and and paying attention to additional steps in the filling process.
Overall Impression
  • At this rotation, you get out of it what you are willing to put into it.  If you want to slide through and count pills the entire time, you can easily do this.  The student is often responsible for initiating discussion with the pharmacist and making an effort to counsel patients. 
  • All of the technicians are really nice and the pharmacists are helpful when they are not busy.
  • If you want to learn anything in depth you often have to take the time to look it up yourself but because the store is so busy you usually can't use one of the computers in the store and will have to rely on your personal mobile technology (smart phone, iPod, etc)
  • In general, I would say that I spent at least 80% of the time doing tech work (calling doctors, counting pills, answering the phone, etc), and that combined with the hour drive there and back from Ann Arbor is not worth the experience.  Also, for anyone that does not have experience in a community setting, there is a harsh learning curve because you are thrown in with little explanation of the system.
  • Suggestion: For those of you doing this rotation in the future, ask the preceptor if you can take an hour or so each day to work in the back on projects or address learning objectives.  This will hopefully make the experience more meaningful.

No comments: