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09/14/2022

How does a pharmacy rebound from criticism?

When pharmacy staff get angry words from patients, what the pharmacy manager says next means something. Something potentially very important to how the interaction carries on.

Patient 1 (for lack of other names we now call him) went from zero to 100 on us because he had to return for a second trip when we bagged his meds separately. On pick-up the staff gave him the first bag they saw and he walked off. He called them in on different days and we didn’t notice while bagging away for pick-up.

“You guys are out to lunch. Always disorganized. You made me come back again. Have you seen the price of gas?”

Five minutes later, Patient – Jean – arrived complimenting us for being so efficient and thanked us for everything we do.

Right after she left, I asked the staff:

“What did we do differently between the two interactions?”

“Nothing,” said my staff.

Exactly. That tells us everything we need to know. It means it isn’t us, in this case it’s the patient. Patient 1 has words everywhere he goes: at the bank, the coffee shop, even the movies. Coincidence, or is it: problems follow him.

Lesson here: Trust that we are doing things the right way.

In basketball, when a jump shot hits the rim or boards without going in, there is a two-second opportunity for a teammate to jump for it midair before the defending team. It’s called a rebound and it’s a great source of scoring points. Part of the leader’s job is to make opportunity of rebounds.

Patients will ream us out whether we are great at what we do or having an off day. How we pick up the team when we fall determines the size of the blast radius.

Sit and do nothing, and you miss out on an opportunity to reset the game.

Rebound the ball, and your team scores. They move on with their day with more confidence, make fewer downstream errors, leave happier and come back bouncier tomorrow.

Watch for rebounds. They can set you up or let you down.

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