I’m playing a bit of a waiting game today for something that may not actually happen…some may call this “wasting” rather than waiting but if things turn out as hoped it will make it all worthwhile. If not, it’s miserable outside and there’s not much more I would have been doing anyway other than rocking in a corner whispering “sun…sun…” over and over again.
As I wai(s)t(e) out the day, I couldn’t help but think back to the most asked question in a community pharmacy – how long will this take? Perhaps second only to – will my insurance cover this? Questions I grew loathe to even hear let alone answer, seeing as how the most common answers were 1. two to 45 minutes and 2. I have no f***ing idea.
A couple months ago there was a Press Release from the UK Office of Trading that said that partial liberalisation of the pharmacies market has brought significant benefits for consumers, including shorter waiting times, a greater choice of pharmacies and extended opening hours…and has improved access to lower-priced over-the-counter medicines. Turns out, more pharmacies in the UK are resulting in a perceived improvement in patient care, rather than the downturn of establishments as feared from increased competition.
A couple of years ago there was an article that I came across (and found again online here) that said patients/customers choose pharmacies based first on location and then on their experience with waiting times. From a pharmacist’s perspective, let me just ask WTF?? and go on to rant a little bit, firstly prefacing said rant with an admittance of being as equally annoyed as anyone else at having to wait for anything.
To me, what this is saying though is that patients are basing their inverse value on a pharmacy by how many others go there, not by the service the receive there. I say this because what these surveys fail to make clear is that waiting for a prescription is the result of OTHER people waiting for a prescription, NOT because the pharmacist is just sitting around Googling the latest spring fashions or because they are in someway purposely causing this wait. On the CONTRARY! The basic philosophy behind any pharmacy counter is to get these people OUTTA here ASAP, especially the ones with screaming crying small humans (and maybe with the exception of the hot hunky lifeguard who has come in to get some after sun lotion and needs help getting at the “hard to reach” spots on his back…because THAT happens all the time…)
I think a wise addition to these surveys is to ask people WHY they think they’re waiting for “so long” at a pharmacy. Sadly, I think the answer would rank up there with why people have to wait for someone to bring them fries at McDonalds rather than an understanding of professional services.
Hmm well, this took 15 minutes…another quarter of an hour down.