I’m on the phone with CVS. My husband’s prescription had never made it to wherever it needs to be to become a bottle of pills he can purchase and take home. It started when we went to see the doctor about the spider bite, a week ago tomorrow.
His doctor wanted to give him a stronger muscle relaxant because the leg is troubling him. And anyway, the one she usually prescribes, Medicare will only cover half the amount he needs. But, it turned out they wouldn’t cover the substitute at all. So, it was back to the original script.
Which never (apparently) made it to the pharmacy. The doctor’s front office forgot to send it. Again. Or CVS lost it in a pile of faxes from a zillion doctors. Again.
It turned out to be even simpler and more bizarre. What really happened? The doctor’s office faxed the prescription, but the fax telephone line at CVS was overloaded. The prescription, stuck on the electronic waiting list, timed out. When I called this morning, they said they hadn’t received it. They hadn’t because they never clear their lines or empty out the memory of the machine.
Eventually, the manager called me. I had not complained, but I probably had that “unhappy customer sound” in my voice, a tone they have come to know and love.
I said: “The problem seems to be that your fax line is overloaded and the doctor can’t get through. Have you considered adding another line and another machine? It wouldn’t cost you hardly any money and it would improve your relationship with customers and doctors too.”
“That’s a good idea,” he said. “I could run that past corporate. It would be inexpensive and solve a lot of problems.”
Right. This being a longstanding and well-known problem, why do they need me to tell them? Isn’t this something the manager could figure out?
As in “Duh!! Our fax line is so busy doctors can’t get through and patients don’t get their prescriptions in a timely fashion. We need another line! Another fax machine!”
Personally, I’ve gone back to getting paper scripts. I hand them to the pharmacist, just like I used to in the old days. Ninety-nine out of a hundred times, I actually get my prescription. It’s a miracle!
Progress doesn’t always move forward. Sometimes, it means going backwards and taking technology out of the loop.