Counseling in a Retail Environment

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by wheelsonfire, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. wheelsonfire

    wheelsonfire Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Other Health Professions Student
    I'm a re-applicant with ample pharmacy tech experience and I am perplexed by the large retail pharmacy chain counseling experience. How do you maintain confidentiality in this environment? As a customer I have overheard pt counseling sessions that I shouldn't have. Maybe as a future pharmacist, I'm hyper-sensitive to the issue. What do you guys think(esp. w/ drive-thru)? To me, it is demeaning to the profession. The small, private pharmacies tend to take the issue of confidentiality more seriously, but this could just be MY experience. PLEASE let me know!!! HELP.
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. rxlynn

    rxlynn Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Messages:
    917
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    Hi, I also have large chain pharmacy experience and have seen similar problems. Our pharmacy is very open in the front - we do have a separate consultation window, so we will try to direct people to that point. However, we have two registers in the front so if a question comes up at the register it's very easy for anybody in the vicinity to hear. With my store's layout, it's actually better for people to get consultation at the drive-through (we open the window mostly) as opposed to inside. I do think that some of the newer pharmacies are designing into their layouts better consultation areas, and some chains are better than others. My local Krogers has a very tiny 1/2 room with a desk that the pharmacist can use for consultation.
     
  4. crossurfingers

    crossurfingers Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Messages:
    361
    Likes Received:
    20
    I have an issue with that at the Osco where I pick up my meds. The clerk brings the prescription up to the counter/register in a clear see through bag, proceeds to take everything out and lay it on the counter, then transfers it to their plain white bag. Even though there's that sign that says "Wait here for patient confidentiality", in reality it's just about 3 steps behind me and not very 'confidential'. I wish they would change that whole process. At the Target I work at I think the confidentiality is maintained a lot better since the meds are already in our bags when we get to the counter.
     
  5. cognito

    cognito Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    It doesn't matter whether the med is inside a paper bag or not, in order to effectively counsel the patient you have to do a show and tell counseling. I don't know how many errors I have caught doing that, but its enough to keep me doing it. If you have to tell somebody to step back a few feet to maintain confidentiality, then you do it as nicely as you can. I'm sure they would expect the same when they are being counseled. Retail pharmacy is by far not a perfect environment for effective counseling, but you work with what you have.
     
  6. ilovepharmacy

    ilovepharmacy ilovepharmacy
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2004
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    Yeah there is no such thing as confidentiality at the Savon I work at for the same reason as other pharmacies... we counsel where the register is. People are within hearing distance so its not difficult to hear a conversation. I've actually gotten used to it, because its the best we can do and the patients don't have an issue with it. Just as long as they know what their meds are and how to take it, they are happy..
     
  7. Shovingit

    Shovingit well, well, well
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Pharmacy Student
    Agreed. I've worked at 2 Kroger stores for the last 5 yrs, and it is very difficult to maintain total privacy. Since HIPAA the main changes have been to keep the customer's identity private from other costumers. That we do relatively well, but still we ask aloud the patient's name when they are picking up. It is very hard to do anything about this, without totally sacrificing the pace at which we go. Most customers don't really mind the level of privacy or lack thereof. At least that'd the impression I get. Where we will run into problems is if privacy issues become more and more rediculous, the way other issues have in the last 10 yrs. Time will tell.
     
  8. wheelsonfire

    wheelsonfire Senior Member
    5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Other Health Professions Student
    Thanks for the input guys! :) Have a great Christmas break.
     
  9. baggywrinkle

    baggywrinkle cranky old fart
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2003
    Messages:
    549
    Likes Received:
    4
    In particularly sensitive sessions I might leave the pharmacy and take them aside some where - to the waiting room or down a nearby aisle. Talking around the issue rather than just blurting it out helps too. Guys getting viagra are particularly skittish - they just want to pay and flee - so casually in a low tone I'll mention if anyone tries to give you nitrates just say no. The folks in the drive through can just go fish. Most of them won't tolerate being counseled anyway so usually I just asked them if they had any questions and let it go at that. If they want a real bona-fide counseling it just isn't my problem that the loud speaker can be heard down the block :D God gave most of them legs don'tchaknow.

    My current setting is ideal. Bank teller pharmacy. Eight windows with enough space to really get down and dirty without violating patient privacy.
     

Share This Page