We have about five days of her GI reflux medicine left, so I do the normal thing, and call the pharmacy. Sounds easy and normal, right?
As usual, the pharmacy checks the computer and tells me they need to get a refill from the doctor and they will contact the doctor’s office, still, all as usual. I know there is no issue since we saw the GI doctor a few weeks ago and he agreed to stay on the same medicine, same dose.
Two days ago we were down to two doses left, that night’s dose and yesterday morning’s. I need other meds, so I call the pharmacy, tell them the other meds we need and say I will be in later for all of them. Then I do it … I ask if Pearlsky’s GI med is ready to be picked up. The pharmacist gets on.
We have not heard back from the doctor’s office.
Crap. I guess it’s not their job to track this, but how can I? “OK, I’ll call them,” I tell him.
I call the GI department and from the voice mail I choose “prescription refill.” See what a good boy I am? I listen to the message that says they do not accept fax requests from pharmacies (!), blah, blah, and then the beep. As requested I leave Pearlsky’s name, date of birth, etc. and say, very clearly, “we recently saw the doctor, she needs a refill of her reflux medicine with the same dosing and everything as previously.” Although the recording says it can take two days (they all say that), it is usually called in later that day. I have faith.
Pearlsky and I walk to the pharmacy yesterday morning, after her last dose of the medicine. The pharmacist tells me he did not fill the prescription yet, he was not sure if he should. Turns out the prescription is for pills, not the solution, and the wrong dose and only once a day. I know from experience these pills don’t dissolve, there really is no way to give them to Pearlsky, besides, they are wrong. And we have no more.
We walk home. I call the GI department and ask for the doctor’s assistant, she is not there. I ask for whoever works on the recorded prescription line, no one is available. I ask to talk to a nurse, knowing that someone gives them the message and they call in the prescription. No nurse is available. I ask who is in charge of nursing, she is not available. I am speaking with an administrative assistant. I ask if she can look in Pearlsky’s record to see if the prescription has changed, at least I will know if the error is with the nurse or the doctor. Nothing. She says she will leave a message for the nurses.
No medicine left. No one around. And I know what will happen tonight.
I send an email to the nurse in charge of the clinic, and I copy the doctor and his assistant hoping someone can help. Since I am not supposed to write a complaint other than to the great Patient Relations woman, I cc her on the email. I don’t have time to only go through her, we are out of the med, I did everything I knew how. I explain to the nurse the issue, I explain what we need, and I strongly ask to find out specifically where this went wrong.
Several hours later the doctor calls me. It was his mistake. We saw him at 7 P.M. a few weeks ago, and it turns out, he entered the information into the computer from home later that night. It appears it is a new system, and between all that, the wrong information was put in the system, hence the nurses called in the wrong prescription. He was great, has known us for a dozen years, he apologized, took full responsibility and said that he should really hand the prescriptions to the parents as well as do it electronically as a double check. As we spoke he sent the proper prescription to the pharmacy. I thanked him for his forthrightness and his help.
Unfortunately it was too late for me to get the drug from the pharmacy, but I did not think one missed dose would hurt.
Last night, around 1:30, Pearlsky refluxed in her bed.