This was a primary research method in which the participant was given a toolkit via Miro, to create their current pharmacy experience. The participant then mapped their current experience from medication prescription to pickup and then to refill.
Step 1 / 10 mins
Create your CURRENT Pharmacy experience from medication prescription to pick up and then to refill. Use the talk out loud method as you do this.
Step 2 / 10 mins
Then, explain your CURRENT Pharmacy experience.
Step 3 / 5 mins
Then look at your CURRENT Pharmacy and tell me how you would change it to be an IDEAL Pharmacy experience.
The Participant’s Talk Out Loud Transcript & Explanation of the Map
- The first step is that I feel the symptoms coming on (at home) and I google it. I often call a friend or family member to see what they think I should do based on what I am feeling and what I found on google.
- Once I decided to go see a doctor, I check what day of the week it is. I have to get out my insurance card to schedule my appointment and take into consideration when they can get me in for an appointment.
- I drive to my scheduled appointment. While I’m there i’m low key mad that I can’t just order the medication on my own. I’m mad that it has to be this long process.
- The doctor prescribes me my medication and calls it in to the pharmacy. They tell me to go to the pharmacy, but there’s always a timeframe on it, or the doctor does not know when it will be ready.
- I go to the pharmacy, I put my mask on, the pharmacy is usually shoved into the back of the store. I dodge the civilians without masks.
- At the pharmacy, I am happy to be getting my medication, but not happy that I had to see my physician to do this.
- At the pharmacy, most of the time I have to wait, most of the time the medication is not done. Sometimes the pharmacy will text me, but the last time I simply went and they were not ready. Whenever I ask my doctor, they are not always sure as to if my specific pharmacist will text me when it’s ready.
- At the pharmacy, the person in front always takes forever. Most of the time it seems like there is a discrepancy with money or insurance coverage. I feel frustrated that it takes so long. Then when I speak to the pharmacist at the register, they tell me to wait. I was just in line prior to this…so I am frustrated that I have to wait longer.
- I typically do a lap around the store while waiting. I don’t want to look like I am just there for drugs so I buy something else while I’m waiting. Typically nail polish, shampoo, or some other household item I may need.
- When I pick up my prescription I ask many questions. Typically they have to get someone in the back to answer them because the person at the pharmacy register doesn’t know the answer. I always want to know when I can take it and if I can drink while I am taking it.
- Sometimes if I don’t ask all of the questions I will google it later. I don’t ever call my pharmacist because I don’t want to be put on hold or have to go through a long voice automated process.
Q&A After the Explanation
Researcher: Were there any pain points in this journey?
- I don’t understand why the doctors have to prescribe the medication. Especially when it is something where I know what is wrong with me. For example, when I get a yeast infection I typically know I have one. I also go to CVS to buy an over the counter yeast infection test. Then I go home to take it. Thereafter, I have to call my doctor and tell them this, but they still insist that I go in and get tested there as well. Sometimes, it takes a few days to get the medication I need because there are so many steps in this process. Such as going to the doctor, getting the prescription, and it all has to be done during regular business hours.
Researcher: What would you change for this to be an IDEAL pharmacy experience?
- I want there to be less steps in the process and in less time between feeling ill and getting the medication. Why can’t I go to the pharmacist, take the yeast infection test, show the pharmacist, and have them give me the medication I’ve used in the past for previous yeast infections. I realize that if I don’t know what I have I need to see my doctor, but if I do…why are there all these steps? Years later I can get bladder issues from having to wait so long to get care for my yeast infections, this is something I’ve been warned about by my friends and doctor due to waiting for my medication or by having the yeast infection longer than needed.
- What I end up doing for my yeast infection dilemma is this: If I get a refill, I will horde/save the prescription and wait until right before expiration, in which I will call it in to the pharmacy. I do this so that when I get the prescription, it will expire much later than if I were to refill it a week after the yeast infection I just had. I do this to avoid having to go to see my physician when I can test myself with the over the counter medication and then take my saved prescribed medication.
Overall, this study provided interesting insight because this participant did not like how long it all takes to get care. This is vital to pharmaceutical literacy because if they want care as quick as possible, they are not necessarily concerned with literacy. They are so caught up in the pain points of time, that they may not get the right care. I think it’s interesting how they go to google more because of the speed of results google is able to give.
Cover Image Source: Freepik