For North Carolina-based pharmacist Amina Abubakar, PharmD, phone conversations with physicians were often seen by the doctors as intrusions, and produced defensive attitudes over prescription selections.
Then something changed: Physicians and their staff got to meet her face-to-face.
Abubakar, owner of Rx Clinic Pharmacy in Charlotte, used her pharmacy management system to find the physicians for whom she was filling the most prescriptions. Then she set up in-person visits to get to know one another.
“We spoke as people and not as physician and pharmacist,” she says. “And then, there was a friendship. I wanted a smoother interaction for physicians I was working with each day.”
Abubakar got to explain that when she calls to check on a prescription request, it isn’t to second-guess the physician’s guidance, but to be sure she has all the necessary information. Pharmacists try to put together a puzzle, she says, to be sure the patient has the best treatment tools and so they can receive the right guidance.
“There are prescriptions that come in incomplete. And calls to the physicians have resulted in change,” she says. “Pharmacists are very safe people. They would rather make that one phone call and make sure this is what [the physician] meant versus assuming what is meant.”