Have you ever witnessed this situation? - page 2
I went to the pharmacy to pick up a new prescription. When my name was called the pharmacist came out, opened the medication package, announced what it was for, held it up in front of everyone, and... Read More
Sep 13, '12No, that's never happened to me, I've never witnessed it and I would be upset, too. People who may need the services of free clinic days shouldn't be assumed to be less intelligent or less informed based on their supposed financial status, either. I would've complained to him and if need be, the next person higher up the chain.
Even when privacy is only a curtain, there is a definite difference between a conversational tone and and an "announcement" tone.
Sep 13, '12I understand having reasonable expectations of privacy. For instance, a pharmacist might inform a person that it is important to take the full antibiotic treatment even if they start feeling better without naming the medication or saying what it is used to treat, or to not drink alcohol with a certain med. I might expect something like that at the counter. I would not expect a pharmacist to say "Here is your Provestra, (while holding the package up) make sure you take it at least 3 hours before any intercourse for optimal vaginal lubrication, and you may notice xyz symptoms."
I have gone to the larger chain pharmacies and I have never noticed anything like that. They usually have a separate window away from others for people who have questions. I've gotten tons of scripts filled at these large chains and the most anyone ever says is "Do you have any questions about this medication?" At this small community pharmacy, I did not have any concerns about the medication. The pharmacist did not ask me if I had questions. He immediately took the medication out of the manufacturer packaging, announced what it was for and started giving me the most elementary instructions. He was holding it up like it was a tutorial. For those of you who are saying I should have stopped him, I agree. I was just paralyzed with shock. I did eventually stop him but it was too late, everyone was already standing around looking and listening. I grabbed the med and got out of there.
Sep 13, '12Nope, this has never happened to me. And I do use a chain pharmacy.
However, there are areas - one labelled "Drop Off" and one labelled "Consultation" where you can lean into a sort-of carel, with walls on either side of you. If you speak in a low voice and the Pharmacist/Techs also do, people over in the waiting area can't hear unless they have super-ears (some people just have those). So, it can't be perfectly private, but it isn't as bad as someone broadcasting your health information to the entire room. They could try a little harder to be discrete, especially when there are such stiff fines involved.
This happening to you in a small town is actually worse in a way - they don't have to counsel hundreds of people a day - they could probably take the time to explain things to you in private, or at least make an attempt. The next time you get your scripts filled, you should make sure to tell the pharmacist to his face that you know what HIPPA is, and that you think his "demonstrations" might be in violation.Last edit by microtutor on Sep 13, '12
Sep 13, '12OP, FWIW, I think you are right to be upset. If this were one of those Code of Conduct scenarios, I would call it a HIPAA violation; so it may very well be. The practice needs to stop; not just for you but for anyone using that pharmacy. Please report this to someone higher up the food chain than the bully pharmacist.Last edit by sirI on Sep 13, '12 : Reason: quoted removed post
Sep 13, '12I'm there with ya... isn't that violating HIPPA laws?? I believe so... I have experienced the same thing in the small town I live in. I don't appreciate everybody in the pharmacy knowing I use a narcotic for pain control, especially since I work in the only health facility/small hospital here. These idiots literally have to be told they are violating the law, and to stop this practice or face reprimand. You need to speak up the next time it happens (and hopefully it doesn't!!).
Sep 13, '12Depends on what the med was. If it bothered me, I would have said something right there. While HIPAA is important, let's be honest. In a public place such as a supermarket drugstore, people may overhear things. Now, the pharmacist still has a responsibility to be somewhat discreet and not shout out the information, but unfortunately, these environments are not private.
Sep 13, '12I think you're getting way too gung-ho here. What the pharmacist did was pretty common, though it may not be right. What we're taught in the books are ideal/theoretical situations. Nothing in the real world is ever that pretty. How many times have you heard coworkers talking about things in the breakroom? Are you going to be super nurse and tell them to pipe down too? 99% of the people won't and don't pay much attention to it. Honestly to me, it only becomes a big deal when someone calls attention to something, thus making it a big deal.
When people start posting stuff on FB and saying names, etc. then it becomes a big deal and those people should be dealt with.
I'm sure if you would have called out the pharmacist and caused a scene, you would have created a more memorable situation for the people around you, and this would have been the exact opposite of what you want.Last edit by CSUSM10 on Sep 13, '12
Sep 13, '12Quote from BrandonLPNBrandon, how interesting that you, a male judging by your name, think that men using pills to help their sex lives require privacy but a woman who needs DM or infection or "something" treatment should just be thrilled to have anyone and everyone know all about her health situation.I'm not getting what the big deal is. Does he really have time to take you to a private room to discuss your meds? Couldn't you have interrupted him if it bothered you that much?
Also, if I'm giving a resident a new med, I might tell them what it is and what it's for out in front of everybody. I don't have time to wheel them to their room or something. Yes, that would be "best" practice but I have many many other pts to pass meds to. In the real world there just isn't time.
Now, if I were giving someone some Viagra or ciallis, I might not broadcast it for all to hear. But what exactly are you worried about if the lady behind you in line knows you're taking metformin or an ABX or something? If you're privacy is that important, maybe you shouldn't buy your meds in a public supermarket with a dozen people lined up right behind you.
Also, please re-read the OP's story. She had no insurance, went to the free clinic, then to the pharmacy the clinic was used to dealing with. She nowhere stated that it was in a supermarket.
Further, she'd had her annual exam. Can you say Pap smear? Maybe her Rx was for something gynecological. I am guessing that she's a nurse or would likely not be posting here, although I know we have non-nurses post here. Being a nurse, she has some knowledge about Rx and maybe didn't want the whole world to know that she is being treated for whatever she's being treated for.
Also, we are all so very aware of privacy these days. Every bank, every doctor, every everyone sends us privacy statements in the mail, we have to sign them everywhere we go, we are reminded all day every day at work not to discuss patients in public.
The pharmacy needs to set up a more private area. The pharmacist should be asking each patient if he or she needs help to understand the prescription(s). The voices should be low, inaudible to other patrons.
Maybe this is a small town where folks know each other. The OP should have some courage and should have spoken up to tell the Pharmacist that she was embarrassed to have him doing what he was doing. but she didn't. I hope she will next time so that the whole town doesn't get to know that she has warts or herpes or needs estrogen.
Sep 13, '12Quote from djxpressThe break room is one thing. The elevator or public toilet is another. Please take HIPAA much more seriously than you apparently do. I've known people who've been fired and fined over it.I think you're getting way too gung-ho here. What the pharmacist did was pretty common, though it may not be right. What we're taught in the books are ideal/theoretical situations. Nothing in the real world is ever that pretty. How many times have you heard coworkers talking about things in the breakroom? Are you going to be super nurse and tell them to pipe down too? 99% of the people won't and don't pay much attention to it. Honestly to me, it only becomes a big deal when someone calls attention to something, thus making it a big deal.
When people start posting stuff on FB and saying names, etc. then it becomes a big deal and those people should be dealt with.
I'm sure if you would have called out the pharmacist and caused a scene, you would have created a more memorable situation for the people around you, and this would have been the exact opposite of what you want.
And she needn't have "called out" the pharmacist. She could have simply lightly touched his hand to get his attention and then, after he'd hushed, told him to please speak more quietly.
Once something is on social media, it's on. Too late to close the barn door after the horses have escaped.
Sep 13, '12Quote from MeriwhenThe CVS's near me are all newly built - within the last 2 or 3 years. HIPAA has been in effect much longer. These pharmacies should have been built to accommodate privacy requirements. I think there might be a lawsuit there.My pharmacy has signs stating that they cannot guarantee auditory privacy at the pharmacy counters. The same sign also states that if privacy is desired for the patient to ask to speak to the pharmacist in private. This is understandable given that the pharmacy is located an open and public area: one needs to be realistic about the level of privacy to expect while standing at the pharmacy counter at the local CVS.
Also, given the volume of customers that they deal with, it's also not feasible for the pharmacy to automatically pull every single patient aside to discuss their medications in private. Imagine how long that process would take: 20 minutes to wait on the prescription to be filled and verified then another 40 minutes waiting because the pharmacist is counseling...and most pharmacies only have one or two staff at most working the pick-up lane. Neverminding that there will always be that one patient with a million questions, not all of which have to do with the medication...
So while I'm not saying what happened to you was acceptable, you do need to realize that you are not in an entirely private setting and need to be realistic about what to expect. And now you know what to do the next time you need to pick up a prescription--immediately request to speak to the pharmacist in private.
Maybe pharmacists should not talk so loudly, should not automatically go into teaching mode? Patients can query them by phone if they need to.
Sep 13, '12I would be thrilled beyond belief if my pharmacist or tech would even check birth date or address anything to identify it's ME....after having a real scare where another person with the same name (but lacking middle initial and different birth date) was given the right Rx but charged to my insurance and then I couldn't get mine filled...and I really really need my PB med!!!!
I had to practically scream at the tech to tear her eyes away from the pc screen and LOOK at ME!!! She did finally and realized I wasn't hysterical but was extremely concerned and wasn't going away. She was able to determine that I had received the medication but at a different branch of the supermarket chain. When she insisted it was me and turned the screen toward me I realized the signature wasn't mine......
The pharm. manager insists procedures are in place to prevent this from happening but clearly they're not being adhered to so I've taken it into my own hands and called my insurance company to alert them to never fill Rx from the other place for me. I also insist the dispensing tech corroborate ID with me even if the pharmacist is "hiding" and pretending he can't hear me.
Be thankful your pharmacist is following procedure albeit with less-than-sensitive tact and respect for privacy.
Sep 13, '12While we're on the subject of pharmacy teaching, has anyone noticed them pre-checking the little boxes that say you've been counseled or refused counseling ? I call them on that and then sign my name with ALL my credentials!!!
Sep 13, '12Since I am an older nurse from the Dinasour era, this does not apply to me..but my younger friends have encountered Pharmacist who would not even fill their birth control prescriptions..it was against their religon..I thought this was against the law, apparently it is'nt..and I also would have filed a complaint with the owner of this store. Not taken the medication home..leave without paying for it..go elsewhere..and if necessary, tell next druggist you wish privacy if he has to speak to you..yes, sad as it is..some are just plain stupid..sad this must be done..learn to leave nothing to chance....we have train tracks near by..and a sign had to be posted, NOT TO PARK ON THE TRACKS..I laughed so hard..it made my day..and the world gets worse as one gets older. Had closed caption on my tv..due to loss of hearing..thought it might help me..However who ever was hired to type it..had so many mistakes typed, one could not make out what was being communicated..so had to get rid of it..hang in there..and learn to see the humor in it all...bluewillow7