Have you ever witnessed this situation? - page 7
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 14, '12The OP's feelings are a reminder of how careful healthcare providers need to be regarding privacy and confidentiality.
To those saying don't pick your prescriptions up at a chain store - doesn't work and shouldn't matter. For rural people the Walmart, etc, may be all you have. The pharmacy has to be HIPAA-compliant. When I get my Rx's at Walmart, most customers stay behind a line on the floor, allowing for privacy, and the pharmacist talks in a low voice if I'm at the consultation window, off to the side. I've done 2 things before: I have asked the pharmacist to speak more softly, and I have TOLD customers to get behind the line when they breech the line, encroaching on my privacy.
OP - was there no line on the floor providing distance between shoppers and the pharmacy consultation window?
Sep 14, '12Hipaa is an important part of healthcare. Privacy is sometimes not always what we would like it to be or ideal. Even in the pharmacies that have that little line that people need to stand back 400 feet from or whatever, if one would like to be an active listener, then they will be. Unless there are private consultation rooms, this will always be an issue. Much like ER's (which another poster mentioned) as nurses we have to give the education on meds too. And in that case, the patient on the other side of the curtain can not only hear that education, but every symptom, test, explaination...
If I am ill and hoofing my sick self to the pharmacy, the last thing I care about is what someone is getting for a medication. These are people I will more than likely never see again. Don't care what they are on, and could care less about much more than I need my prescription so I can get back home to bed. Not everyone is privvy to what a medication even is, and more so with generic name varieties of drugs. Most people in pharmacies that I have noticed are just annoyed at the wait. Many more are multi-tasking, on the phone, texting, or just too sick to care. Speak to the pharmacy manager should you be concerned about people overhearing. It is much like buying condoms, feminine hygiene products, lice treatments.....they all gotta go up on the belt, after you cart them around the store in your grocery cart on display.
You give people a lot of credit. Most are too busy in their own lives, caught up in their own medical drama to be an active listener in your health care issues at the pharmacy.
Sep 14, '12Quote from jadelpnI disagree. I live in a small town, and chances are I know 1/3 of the people standing line at the Walmart pharmacy. And small town people are the nosiest lot you'll ever meet.You give people a lot of credit. Most are too busy in their own lives, caught up in their own medical drama to be an active listener in your health care issues at the pharmacy.
Sep 14, '12Quote from MulticollinearityThere was no line, but the place is so small there's no room for one. The seating area is like 3-4 ft from the counter but there's only a few seats so everyone else stands around right next to the counter or form a line behind the counter.OP - was there no line on the floor providing distance between shoppers and the pharmacy consultation window?
Sep 14, '12I agree with those whom have opposed the pharmacist. I take medication for Hypothyroidism, and when I pick my Rx up, I would be appalled if the pharm tech announced the medication, like " attention adipose tissue heffer, your medication is ready!" It is not acceptable, irregardless of what med it is. Period.
Sep 14, '12Ok, completely off topic, but I have to mention this. Guys, the word 'irregardless' does not exist. I am sorry for interrupting the regular broadcast for it, but that 'word' just makes me grind my teeth! I am really not thepolice, but I had to say something after noticing a few people say it on here! Alright, rant done. Let the flames begin!
Sep 14, '12Quote from Jeweles26Sorry to burst your bubble Jeweles26, but you need to check on Wekipedia and some of the newer versions (latest prints) of Websters, American Heritage, etc and you will find the word IRREGARDLESS, in all of it's glory. I guess it's a case of misuse a word long enough and it too will become a word.Ok, completely off topic, but I have to mention this. Guys, the word 'irregardless' does not exist. I am sorry for interrupting the regular broadcast for it, but that 'word' just makes me grind my teeth! I am really not thepolice, but I had to say something after noticing a few people say it on here! Alright, rant done. Let the flames begin!
Sep 14, '12Oh lord. Well then, after looking at the Wiki for it, that simply means that people misuse it from its actual literal meaning. But just because colloquialisms appear in the dictionary does not make them proper English. I am in no means a scholar of the English language, but would prefer to avoid the use of words that are incorrect, or to be warned about a word I use inappropriately. Ok, now back to the original topic lol.
Sep 14, '12Allrighty. So back on track. Here is an example of a situation that happened to a friend of mine. She went to the pharmacy to refill a prescription for a narcotic. The pharmacy announced in front of everyone what she was taking. As she then went about her shopping she noticed that she was now being followed by three men. She started to leave the building to go to her car and they followed her.
She ended up turning around and going back inside and having to call security to escort her to her car. Which did little to alleviate her fears because the other guys had cars too and could have followed her home. She finally did get home, but shaken. And then filed a complaint.
It is not possible to know what is going on in the minds of the people around you. A pharmacist asks your name, your birthday, and announces your prescription, maybe it means nothing to the person behind you, maybe it does.
I cannot imagine a training course in which pharmacists are told that you don't have to follow HIPAA if someone is getting Vit D or synthroid because no one cares about those meds, but you do have to follow HIPAA if they are taking bc pills or ABX.
That puts the pharmacist in the weird position of judging your lifestyle and making determinations about what should and shouldn't matter to you.
Pharmacists are not some elevated species of individuals, they are human beings, and flawed in the same way as everyone else.
I do not want anyone making judgments about what should matter to me. I don't care what they do for a living.
Sep 14, '12This reminds me of when my mother had bladder prolapse surgery and she had some serious itching around the wound. I went to the pharmacy and got some over the counter generic medicine that said literally on the package "Anal itch cream" Wouldn't you know, the cashier needed to get a price check and proceeded to ask for one over the intercom. It was like something you would see on a sitcom. All I could do was stand there and say, "I swear it's not for me..."
Yes this stuff does matter and it doesn't take much effort to act with discretion, or at least awareness and sensitivity. What if someone was taking antiretrovirals for HIV or something of a particularly sensitive nature? In a small town pharmacy, it wouldn't take much for word to get out. Yes, we need education about our meds, but there is a way to provide it while still maintaining privacy. Talk in a low voice, take a few steps to the side, put a line on the floor a few feet away that says "wait here until called", anything. A little effort can go a long way when it comes to maintaining people's privacy.
Sep 14, '12Quote from mariebaileyOr litigation.Pharmacies are covered entities. It sounds like they just need better training or common sense...or both.
Sep 14, '12I think the important point here is not to measure our privacy practices against bad privacy practices. So, for instance, if there is poor adherence to HIPAA laws in the ER, that is not a good model to measure the pharmacy's behavior against. And poor practice in one specialty area of healthcare does not justify it in another.
HIPAA is the law. There is no reason that a pharmacist cannot be discreet in their patient education and they should be called on their poor customer service related to privacy.
Sep 14, '12Quote from RNewbieI 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 proceeded to give me detailed instructions on how to take it. I was so shocked, I couldn't say anything. I just stood there nodding. The pharmacist was still talking, everyone was standing around looking and I finally said, "Thanks, but I can read the instructions." He said, "Okay, if you have any questions, give us a call." I grabbed my prescription and left. Now I am so mad that I didn't stand up to him and tell him that he can't do that. He did the same thing to the person before me but I was on the phone and not paying much attention but I was thinking that she probably had questions about the medication, but the pharmacy is a small community pharmacy and there is no private area for counseling and I could hear everything he was telling her. He did not announce what kind of med it was but I could practically figure it out.
I believe that this all happened because I went to a free clinic for my annual exam because I am currently uninsured. The pharmacy is next to the free clinic and they told me they could call the script in there and I could just go next door to get it, so I agreed. I think that this pharmacist assumes that he is dealing with a certain kind of customer because most of his business is sent from the free clinic. I feel like his intentions were good for trying to educate people on their medications but he should first ask them if they have any questions regarding the prescription (not just whip the med out and start rambling about how to take it) and he should find a private area to counsel people on their meds. You can not do that in front of people.
A few months ago I was watching that show on ABC, What Would You Do? hosted by John Quinones. They did this same exact scenario. I remember thinking, what professional would ever do such a thing? Now I see.
Has anyone ever witnessed anything like this? What would you have done? I'm feeling like a wimp because I did nothing.
What HIPAA issues don't apply to pharmacies and pharmacists?
Dude, the pharmacist needs a talking to, or someone somewhere up the ladder needs a talking to.
I totally don't agree with their approach, and I'd write a letter to the appropriate people.