The day after the holiday, I show up much earlier than usual to start my morning at the pharmacy. I normally go in about a half hour early to get my mind straight and ease into the day.
Also, I need this time to reflect, warm up my joints, and strategize. Every day needs a strategy and a plan in order to execute on my high priorities. Today, I won’t let the grind get to me, so I bring my A-game early.
The day after a holiday presents some unique challenges, though. Much like a Monday, the doctors offices have been closed a few days. We have days of backed up doctor calls (refill requests, prior authorizations, and prescription clarifications).
Medication deliveries may be postponed as well. I can see pages of Out of Stocks haunt us in the queue. To top it off, we have tons of Return to Stocks from patients that have chosen non-adherence in order to procure some family time. Around this time of year, our patients like to procrastinate picking up their medicine.
One would think that a retail pharmacist going in work early does so to start slaving away at the computer screen. Clickity clack on the keyboard and mindless triage of prescriptions.
Any other day, I may let a zombie routine get the best of me. But not today. The day after the holiday is a beast I have to take down in a different way, and that requires careful planning.
The first thing I do when I get to the pharmacy (about 45 mins), is eat some breakfast. The holidays brought tons of food and love from patients, and the pharmacist needs his energy. I chow down on some morning carbs while looking at the technician schedule. Today is pretty beefed up on hours already, but I’ll keep an eye on script count so I can flex up on tech hours if needed.
Next thing on my agenda is to write down my priorities for the day, the week, and the end of the year. Today is a special day because I have a healthy staff present. Gotta make the most of this by having some kind of team huddle with them. Let’s keep it short and sweet, centered around recognition for customer service. They are doing phenomenal from a YTD standpoint, and I need to keep the fire alive this last week. My biggest burden as a pharmacy manager is driving the team to go from darn good customer service to world class service.
Then, I have to manage my daily agenda by cross-referencing to-do lists from my supervisor and corporate. I asked for more experience handling escalated customer complaints, so he forwards me some from time to time. I have a few customer complaints from other stores to follow up with. I’ll probably need 10 minutes for each one, so I’ll call around noon when the doctors offices are closed.
Hopefully, my peers have some down time to chat so I can support and teach them something. You’d think that I had enough on my plate already, but the Enterprise is always bigger and more important than just me. Plus, if I don’t make room for the big things now, I’ll get bogged down and never fit it later. My personal development is way too important.
Lastly, I have hiring and on-boarding plans to follow up on. I’m fully staffed right now, with plenty of full time techs and more than enough part timers. However, I’m hiring for next year in Quarter 4; a beastly pharmacy is always looking for good talent. I project 15% growth, so I need to start early so my new hires will be world-class by this time next year.
Spring time presents slightly less hours than Q4, so I need to partner with district scheduler. I will be bringing on two more highly talented part timers who will need hours that I don’t have. It’s a good thing there are stores in the district in need. I can hire them on and train them as contingency staffing for my store while helping out the Enterprise. Killing two birds with one stone.
Before I know it, it’s time to open the pharmacy. I’ve created the weekly technician schedule, sent a bajillion emails, and somehow managed to get a head start on the day’s workflow. I think I’m finally awake. The day flies by in a blur, but it’s an amazing day. I took a late lunch, but it was a real treat because one of my techs bought me a $4 chicken teriyaki bowl. It’s the small things in life that are the biggest blessings.
Thankfully, everyone else took at least one 15 minute break. Always gotta make sure I take care of my people first. Although we didn’t finish filling all the prescriptions, we sure hustled through the burning queue. Overdue prescriptions don’t scare us, not one bit. That’s because my team takes care of the customers and puts people first. Nothing feels better than finishing a work day at the pharmacy accomplishing everything exactly how you wanted to. Grind on and Happy Holidays, Corporate PharmD’s.
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Business Tips for The Corporate PharmD
- Prioritize and strategize first, then hustle in execution
- Without building the foundation, you only have a house of cards
- Always make time for recognition and personal development
- You can either spend time purposefully or have time taken away from you