fame and shame · mental health · well *I* think it's funny...

Day 114: Breaking up with Rexall

There are four members of this family on daily prescription medications. The majority of those prescriptions are for ADHD meds, a fact which has led me to believe that we should just put it in the water and be done with it. We could just attach a filter to our tap that adds Ritalin to the water until 4 p.m.; I’d call it “Britalin.”

(I got distracted again, didn’t I?)

As I was saying, we have a lot of prescriptions in this family, and of course none of them are synchronized; this means that we’re requesting refills and picking up at our local Rexall pretty much weekly. It was an agony: they rarely picked up the phone (and in fact we often got a busy signal) and even though we could request refills online, there was no way to see whether the refill was ready before we headed over there.

“This makes no sense,” Mr. December groused. “This whole industry is backward. Why does it take so long to fill a prescription? Why isn’t more of this online and automated?”

After a particularly irritating experience trying to call Rexall this weekend, I decided to try an online pharmacy that delivers. A bit of Googling yielded some results and I narrowed my choices down by turnaround time for new prescriptions (I’d like to have all our pescriptions at the same pharmacy, so I needed a place that could deliver, for example, antibiotics for an ear infection the same day.)

I’ve settled on the Well.ca pharmacy. I did the online signup on Monday; Today I was notified that all our records have been transferred. Logging into the app, I was delighted to see that not only can I submit new prescriptions by uploading a picture of them, but I can also see each of my prescriptions, the date prescribed, number of refills, date dispensed, and the doctor who prescribed it. That’s right, folks — for the first time in my life, I have access to my own pharmacy record! It’s time to party like it’s 2015, which is roughly when every other industry seems to have introduced this level of customer access online.

(Side note: the Well.ca pharmacist called me on Monday afternoon to ask me if I had another phone number for the Rexall pharmacy, because the number I gave him seemed to be out of order. “I’ve called five times and it’s a constant busy signal,” he explained apologetically. “It must be out of order.” “No,” I sighed, “That’s par for the course with them. That’s why we’re switching.”)

This morning I noticed that N’s prescription was missing from his online profile. Curious, I called the Well.ca pharmacy; I almost dropped my coffee cup when they picked up on the first ring. Not only did I get to speak to the pharmacist within a minute, but after sorting out the issue for N, he suggested to me that he could synchronize my prescriptions so that they all get renewed at the same time. It sounds so simple; why did my old pharmacy never suggest it?

Mr. December’s take is that the folks at Rexall probably thought they were working really hard to serve their clients; they might even have felt a bit heroic, working nonstop with the phone ringing off the hook all the time. They weren’t, though — their system was hopelessly inefficient and out-of-date. It’s sort of like me without my ADHD meds: I feel like a martyr, running around and trying to do everything, when the fact is that if I had a better system I’d be twice as productive in half the time.

Hmm… sounds like the Rexall pharmacy could really use my new water filtration system, doesn’t it?

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