A Florida woman recently picked up some prescriptions for a friend at Walgreen’s. Attached was a sheet of clerk comments the patient wasn’t meant to see:
Typed in a field reserved for patient information and dated March 17, 2005, was “CrAzY!!” In another field, dated Sept. 30, 2004, it read: “She’s really a psycho!!! Do not say her name too loud, never mention her meds by names & try to talk to her when … ”
“I was devastated, humiliated and embarrassed,” Karp said. “I honestly couldn’t speak. I was trembling.”
Karp filed suit Tuesday against Illinois-based Walgreen Co., accusing the nationwide retail chain of defamation, negligent supervision and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
A Walgreens exec explained:
“The Drug Utilization Review (DUR) includes a notes field intended for the pharmacist to use to enter reminders and patient requests,” Hively said…
We’re surprised Walgreens would enable comments. What else would employees use this for, other than to poke fun at customers and try to warn each other about trouble? We would argue that pretty much any ‘reminder’ would be met with alarm and distress, if seen by a patient. Even stuff like “this customer likes to talk about sports” or “she always asks about new painkillers.”
Walgreens, in the name of improving customer service, actually gave their employees a tool to use against customers.
Hospitals discourage overt name-calling, knowing that patients have the right to see the chart. Residents communicate in the chart by code — “patient is well-known to hospital staff…” or “exhibits colorful affect” and the like. It’s a shame Walgreens employees were not that discreet.
More from that Seinfeld episode about Elaine trying to read doctors’ notes about her…