Pharmacy Staplers

Pharmacy Chick has a post up about tools of the trade – mostly special pharmacy spatulas (some of which look a whole lot like cake decorating spatulas) and counting trays.  In the comments section, two different pharmacists commented on how much they love their staplers.

Love staplers?  Me – I hate it when the pharmacy uses a chunk of bent metal to attach my med info to the bag.

  • I can’t read the med info when it’s stapled shut.  Since pharmacists have been known to complain on their blogs that people don’t read those med inserts, maybe they should quit stapling the things closed, making it impossible to read them!
  • That receipt that’s stapled to the bag is part of my tax records.  I have to detach said receipt without ripping, shredding, or otherwise mutilating it because my accountant is funny about those receipts being legible.
  • When the tech has to do anything other than hand me the bag, she rips that tax deduction receipt – and then re-attaches the pieces with another staple and acts like it’s completely unimportant that I will be obligated to attempt a repair job.  Argh!

I’m sure it’s faster to staple something to the bag instead of handwrite a name, but it would be nice if that staple was through the empty end of the paper instead of smack in the middle of my receipt.  I hate knowing that a wrestling match with a staple-remover will follow every trip to the pharmacy.

Even better would be if the pharmacy printer were to spit out one label for the bag (one per patient) at the same time it prints everything else related to a prescription (bottle label, receipt, drug info…).  Surely it would be simple to slap that label on a bag of meds – even easier than locating a stapler and keeping it filled.

I do not love my pharmacy’s stapler!

Where Does the Money Go?

Research costs money.  Finding a cure for autoimmune diseases is near and dear to my heart, so last year’s Christmas bonus was used to make a small donation toward research (this is not a big deal; many people donate much larger amounts, but I figure that even small donations add up).  Since making that donation, I’ve discovered that I should have done my homework first and found a different organization.  Name recognition isn’t everything.  How is the money used?

The donation form for this organization had a few extra questions:

  • Do you want a thank-you gift acknowledging your donation?  No.  Just send me the tax receipt.
  • Do you want to receive our print magazine?  No.  I’d rather hear about research projects, but that’s not what you publish.
  • Do you want to receive e-mail updates?  No.  Your website is the least helpful of all the websites I’ve used for information.  I’d rather get more in-depth information elsewhere.

Obviously I didn’t add any commentary, just indicated my preferences.  The results were interesting, though.

  • A gift arrived.  I like it, and use it, and even posted a review.  But I said I didn’t want it.  Gift, postage, and paying for someone’s time to send the thing all took money that could have gone toward research.
  • Magazines started arriving in my post office box, despite the fact that I’d declined the magazine option.  On my tax receipt, the price of a subscription had been deducted from my donation amount.
  • I keep getting e-mail updates.  Even though I have jumped through the hoops to unsubscribe (many times), I still  keep getting e-newsletters.  What’s worse, I get a second copy of some of them with some strange name attached.  No idea where they came up with the name, and the unsubscribe feature doesn’t work.

Before I make another donation, I will investigate the organization a little more carefully to see how funds are used.  What type of research is being done?  How much of the money goes toward autoimmune research?  Are they looking for a cause-of/cure-for autoimmunity, or something else?  How efficiently is overhead kept to a minimum?  How much progress has been made in research funded by the organization?

Because I’m more interested in results than PR.

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Edit to add links to rating sites for charities.  If you know of other good ones with free internet information, please add them in the comments.

Pharmacy

Dear Pharmacy Computer:

I love being able to go online to refill my meds.  It’s so much easier than spending ten minutes punching numbers into a touch-tone telephone keypad.  There is one issue, however, that I’d love to see addressed.  Why can I not refill all my meds at the same time?  You have arbitrarily set a limit – and that limit happens to be lower than my number of prescriptions.

When I punch in the first six, I get a confirmation screen:

Then I start all over to add the others, and get an error:

Your system just can’t handle more than six prescriptions per day.  It’s been a challenge, but if **I** can manage to take all those &*%# pills as prescribed, I don’t think it’s asking too much to ask a computer to let me order my refills in a timely manner.  This is not rocket science; it’s basic handling of data. 

Instead of this being a time-saver, now I have to phone the pharmacy and talk to a person — a person who could be filling prescriptions if they weren’t talking on the phone, trying to straighten out a computer problem.  I finally got everything to where it fills on the same day of the month, only to discover that you can’t handle such a simple task.  Argh!