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News | April 23, 2024

CRDAMC pharmacy team safely working towards better wait times

By Rodney Jackson, CRDAMC Public Affairs

FORT CAVAZOS, Texas – A look behind the scenes of the pharmacy windows at the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center pharmacy will show personnel continue to endure many changes while working hard to be safe when providing prescription services to beneficiaries.
In recent months several challenges arose that would have overwhelmed most teams, such as, the cyber-attack, the prescription verification system installation, in March 2022 the addition of a completely new system called Military Health System, GENESIS, that replaced older systems. GENESIS connected other military pharmacies plus a secure patient portal that allows beneficiaries access to their MHS health records and to virtually interact with military health care teams.
Because every new change takes time to incorporate into the current operations as well as connect to systems in place, wait times will fluctuate for all the organization’s pharmacies. With its main hospital and Clear Creek PX pharmacies having the largest volume of visitors, staff are taking the extra steps to make prescription delivery safe, which, unfortunately, takes time.
“We all, as a whole, work our best to try to make sure that the prescriptions are filled safely and promptly, said Anjelica Riddlespriger, pharmacy technician, CRDAMC.
Riddlespriger says that the pharmacy team must deal with many obstacles that can slow the prescription process. For instance, the doctor entering the wrong dose, requires the technician to call and verify the dose. If the doctor is not available or busy with another patient, the pharmacy must wait for them to become available or try calling back again. Some medical facilities outside of the organization are known to respond with prescription needs with a 72-hour turn-around time. System issues or glitches can further cause medications to not cross over properly resulting in, the request to be reprocessed. The pharmacy has robotic machines that can process over 600 prescriptions per day which, requires the pharmacists to check every prescription.
In the last few weeks, a new Nexia system has been integrated requiring more steps, at some points of the prescription processing, in the effort to increase safety by preventing errors and wrong medications from being dispensed, she added.
“I was taught to treat every patient how you would want your family member to be treated,” said Riddlespriger. “If a prescription does not cross over properly [when a patient comes to the window] I want to make sure that I take care of it personally before it goes out, because that’s how I would want to be treated and that’s how I would want my relatives to be treated.”
She says that finding answers for patients, especially if they have waited a long time and are frustrated, is a personal goal of hers.
Spc. Kambree Trahan, radio specialist, 3 ABCT, 1 CD, prefers the wait, especially if it’s a prescription put in the same day that she’s visited a doctor and says her wait time at a recent visit was smooth. Trahan recommends that Soldiers use Q-Anywhere to refill prescriptions.
“I think it went a lot faster … and my husband, Sgt. Gage Trahan, tank mechanic, was able to pick up the prescription for me,” said Trahan. “If you’re busy try to us the texting app (Q-Anywhere), because there are a lot of people in and out [of the hospital main pharmacy] it gets kind of hectic, but once you get the message that your prescription is ready it’s pretty simple and faster.”
Q-Anywhere allows you to send a “Get in Line” text to 855-812-6030. You will receive a text with your “Q” ticket number and later be notified when prescriptions are ready for pickup. Alternatively, you may activate new prescriptions by calling the Pharmacy Call Center at (254)288-8800 or in-person by checking in at the pharmacy kiosks.
Other services that can cut wait times are refilling through the MHS GENESIS patient portal at patientportal.mhsgenesis.health.mil, and the Script-Pro refill machine available at the main hospital and Clear Creek PX pharmacies.
Cpl. Alexia Brister, pharmacy technician, has worked in the hospital pharmacy for almost three years and says the patient volume can make the job a little stressful but getting into the zone makes it work.
“Once you get into the workflow of understanding what you need to do, like if you are at the window, you just have to take it patient by patient and understand that sometimes the patient is going to be angry, but you should not take it personally, said Brister.
Aileen Tran, pharmacy technician, CRDAMC, has worked in hospitals for nearly 25 years and at the CRDAMC main hospital pharmacy for three.
Tran says that she is glad CRDAMC has updated its systems and feels that they have greatly improved the pharmacy operations, something that other hospitals have not done. It puts the hospital at the top for healthcare when compared to others.
“I like talking to the customers and solving problems they may have when visiting the pharmacy. It feels great when you can help them and get them their meds on time,” said Tran. “I always give the customers a smile and before they walk away from my window my goal is to make sure they are happy.”
 
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