I just got off of the phone with a local pharmacy. This is my second irate call to them regarding e-prescribing. I was not nice.
The problem stems from the refill request process, which is initiated now through the pharmacies. The patient calls for a refill and the pharmacist sends us a request that goes directly into our EMR for my reply. The theory looks good, but the reality is not quite ready for prime-time - especially when pharmacies seem to hire trained chimps. Perhaps I am being a little harsh...on chimps. Here is how my first call went:

"Hello, this is Dr. Rob and I am calling regarding your requests for refills using e-prescribing. I am not sure if you realize it, but someone at your pharmacy is a complete idiot. We get multiple requests for the same medication from your pharmacy. It happens again and again, and it is making me angry. I don't know why your pharmacy is the only one that doesn't seem to get it, as the other pharmacies in town seem to understand this process. Don't blame anyone else; you are at fault because your pharmacy is the only one that doesn't seem to understand this process. As of now I am going to recommend my patients go elsewhere for their prescriptions.

Have a nice day."

My staff was startled. I almost never lose my temper, but these people have absolutely no penalty for their stupidity and I felt that I needed to remedy this. They can request away, making me do more work and filling up the patient's chart with duplicate refill requests; I am the one who pays the price of their ineptitude.

One of my managers spoke with the manager of that pharmacy a few days after my rant; they assured him that they "are not idiots" and will fix the problem. This morning I got the 4th request in 4 days for the same medication on a patient. Yes, it was from the famed pharmacy of imbeciles. I wasn't as mean on this phone call, but I did use the word "pathetic."

e-Prescribing has its good side, but until there is a pill to cure stupidity, there will be a price to pay. Unfortunately I am paying it in this case.

But I can say with pride that I did not use these words at all in either of these phone calls: fool, ass, halfwit, dunce, doltignoramus, cretin, moron, imbecile, simpleton, dope, ninnynincompoop, chump, dimwit, dumbo, dummy, dum-dum, loon, dork,sap, jackass, blockhead, jughead, bonehead, knucklehead, fatheadnumbskull, numbnuts, dumb-ass, doofus, clod, dunderhead, ditz,lummox, dipstick, thickhead, meathead, meatball, woodenheadairhead, pinhead, lamebrain, peabrain, birdbrain, jerk, nerd, donkeynitwit, twit, boob, twerp, schmuck, bozo, turkey, chowderhead, or dingbat.

I am reserving them for future calls.