Miracle in the Pharmacy

There is a scene in the movie "The Miracle on 34th Street" where Santa Claus is in Macy's, having children come up to visit with him and share what they would like for Christmas.  One such child requests a particular toy and when Santa says that he is sure the young man will have it under his tree Christmas morning, the child's mother makes a cross face because that particular toy is sold out at Macy's.  She is frustrated that Santa would promise something to the young child that she knows she will not be in a position to provide.

Much to Mr. Macy's dismay, Santa promptly directs the mother to Gimbal's Department Store, down the street, where he is sure they have an ample supply of this particular toy.  Mr. Macy is sure that this behavior is bound to drive away all of the Christmas shoppers; however, quite the contrary happens.  As it goes, the customers are so taken with the fantastic customer service that Santa has provided them that they continue to shop at Macy's more than ever before.

Perhaps this is a theory that crosses the border of all types of business.  Today I had a father walk into the pharmacy with his 10 year old daughter.  They had been to see one of the physicians up stairs and rather than go across town to their usual big box pharmacy, they opted to stop into our clinic pharmacy for their prescription.   We had never filled prescriptions for this particular family before, so we gathered the demographic information and said we would get going on it as soon as the doctor sent down the prescription.

Ten minutes later we had not yet received the prescription so I gave a call upstairs to see if I could get the process moving forward.  Come to find out, the prescription had already been electronically sent to the other pharmacy, so after a bit of a discussion, I took a verbal order and agreed to call the other pharmacy and let them know we were filling the order.

As I was taking the order I became slightly concerned because the prescription was for an antibiotic liquid that is not to commonly prescribed in our area.  Fortunately, we had enough of the medication on the shelf for half of the course of therapy; however, the father would need to return in 4 or 5 days to pick up the remainder of the medication. 

I went out front and explained this situation to the father, asking if he would be in a position to come back next week for the remainder.  Unfortunately, his daughter was with him for this week; however, tomorrow morning he was taking her back to her mother's house which is about 50 miles away.  I understood and said I would call a couple local pharmacies to see if anyone had the medication on hand.
After 15 minutes of phone calls searching for an uncommon antibiotic liquid we came to the conclusion that we were the only ones who had any of this medication in stock.  I explained this to the father and offered to call his daughters physician to see if any of the other antibiotics may be appropriate in this particular situation.  

The father had been acutely observing this entire process over the past 20-30 minutes.  He was so enamored with gratitude for our effort to find this medication for his daughter that he asked us to just take care of it.  He stated he would be happy to take what we had today and he would come back in a few days, pick up the rest of the medication, and drive it to his daughter's house. 

Going through the process of traveling to a clinic, waiting in the doctor's office and then being seen as a patient can be an event that takes up the greater part of a day for many individuals.  When the patient leaves the office and arrives at the pharmacy, providing a sincere and authentic customer experience may make the difference between this particular patient using your pharmacy, or another pharmacy, the next time they have a prescription to fill.


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