Old Timer

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Yup, but then you make one day supply mistake that gets audited and a $600-1200 chargeback for some stupid cream/insulin that could have been prevented with about 1 minute of extra labor time. I agree with corp that labor should be optimized but I guarantee you that every additional labor dollar spent in our store would save $10 in inventory, customer loyalty and/or audits.

I don't disagree. I think they are foolish. They know the price of everything and the value of nothing. They don't care about customer loyalty. They buy their customers wholesale. As long as the service isn't so bad that employees complain to their union/employer, they don't care.

The real truth is, however, that corp has seen the writing on the wall that retail is dying, perhaps not from the standpoint of workload but overall profitability. They have make it very clear with changes to the benefits package for 2020 that they are putting much more focus on the service and administration side of the business and forgetting merchandise sales.
Retail is no longer the driver of the business. It's just a segment. Caremark is the driver. Caremark and Aetna drives the business int the stores. They need to provide the bare minimum to service the customers. They can't go anywhere, they are stuck with CVS.
 
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Mr. Corporate Pharmacist

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I don't disagree you need to spend more to make more. I don't agree with the way corporate is starving the stores of labor. I am telling you, at leasst in my neck of the woods, you had better not exceed demand hours no matter how busy you are.
When I first started challenging my boss, I faced a lot of resistance. He said things like, "Are you willing to pay back the money you lost with your own paycheck if you're wrong?" (Half joking, in a serious voice). And I looked at him squarely in the eye and said, "Yes 100%"

I felt so strongly about it, just as many of you do here on these forums. I felt so strongly about it that I tracked every single metric relating to scripts, $$, payroll, and all their short and long term trends. I treated the business like a dying patient in the hospital, and it was up to me to know every single lab value and how each one impacted pathophysiology.

I did that for one year, kept every report, and had a full blown thesis prepared every single challenge I received.

No one knew my business better than me (even RDs and VPs). That's because they only had high level insight, where I had that plus the insight on the front lines.

Now, my boss does the same as me, suggesting wild, but relevant business decisions that may be costly short term but widen the net for long term profit. He respectfully challenges upwards as we all should. And we all do it in the name of "business," but really trying to do the right thing for our people.

Sometimes, it doesn't work out, but many times it does. No one (not even the almighty pharmacy gods) know how much payroll is correct for the future demands. But if we step up as business owners, we will be primed to make the best decisions for our patients.

I stopped making decisions based off of fear and channeled my energy towards helping people (patients, colleagues, and myself).

All the time we spend on being better clinicians each year makes me believe that we can spend a fraction on learning new skills in business. It's what's required to succeed in the new community pharmacy era.

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Mr. Corporate Pharmacist

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I don't disagree. I think they are foolish. They know the price of everything and the value of nothing. They don't care about customer loyalty. They buy their customers wholesale. As long as the service isn't so bad that employees complain to their union/employer, they don't care.


Retail is no longer the driver of the business. It's just a segment. Caremark is the driver. Caremark and Aetna drives the business int the stores. They need to provide the bare minimum to service the customers. They can't go anywhere, they are stuck with CVS.
I agree that retail does not drive the business, but we are the primary means to RETAIN business. Healthcare without the personalized interactions will fail to Amazon. We cannot scale like they do.

What we have that differentiates is the the retail footprint. We also have data and analytics that everyone else has to pay for. We have the ability to prevent hospitalizations by driving patients from the moment they leave the hospital straight to a Minute Clinic or Retail Pharmacy so that continuity of care is high. The pay for performance model will change in the future, paying those who keep the most patients healthy and out of hospitals.

I'm no expert in the how's, but I stand with the purpose behind these moves. Face to face clinical services is the future of retail pharmacy, and I can see that the company (maybe not all the leaders just yet), are focusing less on operational metrics and more on actual services delivered.

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Sure, there is a wrong way to do this. That's by spending someone else's money without knowing what you're doing.

It's not easy, but anyone can learn business ownership.

Scheduled optimization is only one part of the equation. The other is worked optimization.

Fxating only on one metric does not make for better business. Hard to grow the business when following arbitrary rules without pushing boundaries.

Sometimes you need to spend more to make more.

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Old Timer

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I agree that retail does not drive the business, but we are the primary means to RETAIN business. Healthcare without the personalized interactions will fail to Amazon. We cannot scale like they do.

This is total BS. They cannot scale like CVS can. Where are they getting 25% of the script business?

What we have that differentiates is the the retail footprint. We also have data and analytics that everyone else has to pay for. We have the ability to prevent hospitalizations by driving patients from the moment they leave the hospital straight to a Minute Clinic or Retail Pharmacy so that continuity of care is high. The pay for performance model will change in the future, paying those who keep the most patients healthy and out of hospitals.

This is also complete and total BS. We buy customers and provide them with slightly less that crappy service so they won't complain mush to their employer. As long as we are cheaper to the employer that's all that counts. The pay for performance is also a crock. You can;t compare hospitals or pharmacies in a poor urban area where language, literacy and intelligence preclude proper adherence to therapy with hospitals in upper middle class or wealthy areas where the patients are better educated and motivated to adhere to therapy and lifestyle changes necessary to get better outcomes.
Unless they scale this to income levels it will never work. Look at smoking. Smoking is the number one cardiovascular risk factor. In fact smoking is probably worse than all other risk factors combined. There is clear correlation between smoking and income. Lower income, more smoking, worse outcomes. How do you expect providers of lower income people to compete with outcomes. It's fools gold.
?

I'm no expert in the how's, but I stand with the purpose behind these moves. Face to face clinical services is the future of retail pharmacy, and I can see that the company (maybe not all the leaders just yet), are focusing less on operational metrics and more on actual services delivered.

Face to face clinical services may be the future of pharmacy but that will require many less pharmacists and lower pay for the pharmacists that are left.

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Mr. Corporate Pharmacist

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This is total BS. They cannot scale like CVS can. Where are they getting 25% of the script business?



This is also complete and total BS. We buy customers and provide them with slightly less that crappy service so they won't complain mush to their employer. As long as we are cheaper to the employer that's all that counts. The pay for performance is also a crock. You can;t compare hospitals or pharmacies in a poor urban area where language, literacy and intelligence preclude proper adherence to therapy with hospitals in upper middle class or wealthy areas where the patients are better educated and motivated to adhere to therapy and lifestyle changes necessary to get better outcomes.
Unless they scale this to income levels it will never work. Look at smoking. Smoking is the number one cardiovascular risk factor. In fact smoking is probably worse than all other risk factors combined. There is clear correlation between smoking and income. Lower income, more smoking, worse outcomes. How do you expect providers of lower income people to compete with outcomes. It's fools gold.
?



Face to face clinical services may be the future of pharmacy but that will require many less pharmacists and lower pay for the pharmacists that are left.

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Okay :)

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cuscus

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Also, I made an error when typing this. The dispensing time report is M1-5.

Sorry for the inconvenience and wild goose chase for anyone looking.

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What’s the best way to learn the business and it’s lingo? I’m being told that I’m not owning it as a staff pharmacist. Any help with basic understanding would be appreciated.
 
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mentos

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What’s the best way to learn the business and it’s lingo? I’m being told that I’m not owning it as a staff pharmacist. Any help with basic understanding would be appreciated.

You gotta put on a fake smile and say BS like:

"We are offering free flu shots! If you get one right now you will get a 25% off coupon just head right over to drop off! You should also get Pneumovax, Hep, MMR, Shingles, and Tdap while you're here!"

"We can put all of your scripts on auto refill to make it easier for you!"

"You haven't refilled this med in a while, what time would you like to pick it up today?"

"Oh you're feeling sick? Go right over to the Minute Clinic, they can prescribe you more meds to take and then we can fill it right here in 15 minutes!"

"Oh you have prescriptions at another pharmacy? Let us call them and request all of them to be transferred here!"

"Just click yes and yes here and here and enter your phone number so we can sign you up for text messages and 90 day fills, it's so convenient!"
 
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cuscus

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You gotta put on a fake smile and say BS like:

"We are offering free flu shots! If you get one right now you will get a 25% off coupon just head right over to drop off! You should also get Pneumovax, Hep, MMR, Shingles, and Tdap while you're here!"

"We can put all of your scripts on auto refill to make it easier for you!"

"You haven't refilled this med in a while, what time would you like to pick it up today?"

"Oh you're feeling sick? Go right over to the Minute Clinic, they can prescribe you more meds to take and then we can fill it right here in 15 minutes!"

"Oh you have prescriptions at another pharmacy? Let us call them and request all of them to be transferred here!"

"Just click yes and yes here and here and enter your phone number so we can sign you up for text messages and 90 day fills, it's so convenient!"
Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to reply. I already do all of that. I’m struggling with reading and interpreting the business metrics and action plans.

Quote from my annual performance rating “ you say all the right things when it comes to assessing and leading the busy itdoes not always align with your behavior.”
He has unofficially hinted at level 1 discipline???
Since jobs are so scarce in my area and also being a single mom with only 1 1/2 year as a full time is a little daunting and overwhelming.
 

mentos

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Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to reply. I already do all of that. I’m struggling with reading and interpreting the business metrics and action plans.

Quote from my annual performance rating “ you say all the right things when it comes to assessing and leading the busy itdoes not always align with your behavior.”
He has unofficially hinted at level 1 discipline???
Since jobs are so scarce in my area and also being a single mom with only 1 1/2 year as a full time is a little daunting and overwhelming.

Are you keeping up with the queue? Is anything going red? I never understood any of the metrics, just made sure nothing went red and people left me alone.
 

wreagle96

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I work for CVS at a moderate volume store in the city, we used to have 150 tech hours at the beginning of this year. Now we are down to 80-90 hours, during Thanksgiving week it was in the 60s. I know other stores in the district have less volume than us but 50 + more tech hours.

The current DM didn't like the previous PIC, although the new PIC is fantastic. The techs range from very good to mediocre.

The store has become an absolute mess, we have 10 plus pages in the red. At one point it was 30, the warehouse doesn't get up. RTS isn't being done. We have 200 plus cycle counts.

The PIC and I are considering calling the CVS ethics hotline and reporting the DM. The place is an accident waiting to happen and people could get hurt. Does anyone have any experience with this? Any other ideas? It seems the DM is undercutting the city stores while giving the nice suburb stores plenty of hours.

I was a PIC at CVS until recently. Fought this issue for years. Worked many extra hours before and after 12 hour shifts to ensure patient safety, regulatory compliance, and my peace of mind. Finally decided it was untenable and adversely affecting my physical and mental health. I resigned. Still have over 100k in student loans but don't think I will go back to the profession in its current state. Now making $14/hr and behind on a few bills, but much, much happier. And alive.
 
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cuscus

7+ Year Member
Jan 12, 2014
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1
Our last year’s MSH was 3.1 . We do about 135 to 150 scripts per day with 50 tech hours per week. And the icing on the top is that our full time tech struggles with filling and going up to the counter let alone other tasks. So, yes, things do go red when she starts her afternoon shifts. We try to do all the autos before she gets here but fifteen minutes into her shifts things starts to go red if I’m at the counter or on the phone. And rest of the tasks like PCQ calls, rts etc falls on the pharmacists. Our supervisor is aware of it but tells me that I’m not being a good leader. It’s a challenge but thanks for your time.
 

cuscus

7+ Year Member
Jan 12, 2014
5
1
Our last year’s MSH was 3.1 . We do about 135 to 150 scripts per day with 50 tech hours per week. And the icing on the top is that our full time tech struggles with filling and going up to the counter let alone other tasks. Everything else falls on the pharmacists. It’s a challenge but thanks for your time.
 

mentos

10+ Year Member
Nov 22, 2009
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Our last year’s MSH was 3.1 . We do about 135 to 150 scripts per day with 50 tech hours per week. And the icing on the top is that our full time tech struggles with filling and going up to the counter let alone other tasks. So, yes, things do go red when she starts her afternoon shifts. We try to do all the autos before she gets here but fifteen minutes into her shifts things starts to go red if I’m at the counter or on the phone. And rest of the tasks like PCQ calls, rts etc falls on the pharmacists. Our supervisor is aware of it but tells me that I’m not being a good leader. It’s a challenge but thanks for your time.

I don't know what the scores mean, but that's retail for you. You are given impossible metrics and when they're not met, the sup comes to scold you because his boss scolds him. If you somehow manage to meet the metrics, you will not get any reward or gratitude. Instead they'll turn up the heat and cut more hours and give even more impossible metrics and repeat, then tell you what you're doing wrong. There is no end to this unfortunately, that's just how retail works. There's not much you can do unless you switch jobs to a hospital, LTC, independent, mail order etc.
 

cuscus

7+ Year Member
Jan 12, 2014
5
1
I don't know what the scores mean, but that's retail for you. You are given impossible metrics and when they're not met, the sup comes to scold you because his boss scolds him. If you somehow manage to meet the metrics, you will not get any reward or gratitude. Instead they'll turn up the heat and cut more hours and give even more impossible metrics and repeat, then tell you what you're doing wrong. There is no end to this unfortunately, that's just how retail works. There's not much you can do unless you switch jobs to a hospital, LTC, independent, mail order etc.
Thanks again.
 

M0df

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Back in my days with CVS, when PIC would write his action plan, it should spell out for you what metrics she wants to drive and how to drive it. I don't know what is on the scorecards these days, and I'm sure there are plenty here who do, but anything under 3 is not good. Since you are at 3.1, there is probably a mix of above and below average scores.

If you want to be proactive about this, find a time when your PIC can explain what she wants from you. Unfortunately, most of the time at CVS you end up learning by yourself. There is a lot of speculation in my reply because I don't know the dynamics of your relationship with your PIC. I also don't know what kind of corporate pressure she is under. Of course, it is also possible that your past and future efforts to remedy this situation are irrelevant and you should find another job.
 
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owlegrad

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I don’t know how you can work at CVS and not know what the metrics are. I mean I get it, they measure 40 different things but it’s not rocket science to break the code. The intranet and scorecard have all the info you could ever want on what the metrics mean and how they are computed. If you can pass pharmacy school you can figure out what “ready when promised” means (or whatever they are calling it these days).

Then besides the official information there is always tons of unofficial information about “how to beat/trick” the metrics. I am sure your PIC can tell you what they do to beat the metrics.
 
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Mr. Corporate Pharmacist

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What’s the best way to learn the business and it’s lingo? I’m being told that I’m not owning it as a staff pharmacist. Any help with basic understanding would be appreciated.
The way I approach business ownership is different from other pharmacists.

Instead of focusing on the metrics, I ask, "What's the purpose behind the metric?"

It all boils down to 3 things

1) Patient Health/Safety
2) Colleague Well-Being/Culture
3) Financial Results

Most pharmacy leaders are too busy focusing on #3 because that's what 80% of the metrics are related to. But if you treat the business like it's your own business, you'll make better associations between all these numbers.

It sounds like you might have a talent development problem (#2) that is affecting #1 and #3. Talking metrics is unproductive if there's more root causes..

I would challenge your leaders to be more specific with your opportunities because you seem very coachable and willing to learn.

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