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 was that I was recommended to go on a specific medication by my therapist, (via zoom). Then I went to my physician (via zoom), to ensure that I should go on this medication and that there isn’t a different treatment that I should take. Being on zoom with both my therapist and physician was really convenient because I was in the comfort of my own home; it was super easy and efficient.
- My doctor sent the prescription to the pharmacy, and it was filled the same day. I picked it up at the pharmacy the same day, I did not have to wait; there was no line.
- When I went I made sure I had a bunch of questions written down that I wanted to re-clarify. I asked the same questions to my therapist, doctor, and pharmacist and the good thing was that all of their answers matched. This made me feel confident getting the medicine because I knew exactly what to do.
- I had to buy the medication but it was not very expensive. I had a fear going into it as to how much it would be, because two times ago when I was prescribed something my doctor warned me that it was going to be pricey. I felt slightly at ease because he did not warn me, so I took that to mean that it probably wasn’t going to be too expensive. (I feel like if it was he would have warned me).
- When I got home I made sure I really read everything on the label so I knew what to look for, especially the side effects and instructions. This is the phase that has my biggest worry, because I have a lot of nerves/anxiety starting the medication. I have not taken this medication, but starting it worries me because I know not everyone’s body reacts the same to medication. I want this medication to be the one that helps me, and I know sometimes with this type of medication they have to try several medications before we find the one that works. I have to check back in with my therapist in one week, and my doctor in a month.
Q&A After the Explanation
Researcher: Were there any pain points in this journey?
- The lowest part of this is just being nervous about how my body is going to react to this medication. I feel uneasy because I don’t know if I will have to do trial and error.
Researcher: What were the questions you asked to your health experts?
- The questions that I asked my all three health experts were all the same. I wanted to know if it was okay to take with my other medication, when to take it; with or without food, and if I could drink while on it. I really wanted to be able to take it without relying on food, because I wanted it to be flexible to match my lifestyle. I also wanted to know how to know (or detect) if the side effects are becoming too much, to the point where I should switch to another medication. The doctor and the pharmacist had matching answers on all of those questions.
Researcher: What would you change for this to be an IDEAL pharmacy experience?
- If there was anything I could change, it would be to make the insurance coverage process to be more clear. Not knowing how much I will have to pay until I get to the last step (the pharmacy) causes me anxiety.
- Overall, I wish my Pharmacist would say how many tablets I am getting. Or for how long of a span. Sometimes I’m so flustered that I don’t think to ask how long is this for before I need more, and I have to go home and figure that out mathematically.
- What stood out to me was that my pharmacist did not say the name of the medication when they gave it to me to double check if they were giving me the right thing. I am unsure as to if they are allowed to say the name of the medication to me because of the line and privacy issues. My doctor told me the name of the medication. He told me dosage, how long he’d put me on it, and all of the details about the medication.
- I do like that the only thing you need to pick up a prescription is name and date of birth. It’s nice that it doesn’t have to be you to pick up your medication.
Analysis:Overall, this study provided interesting insight because this participant was very adamant about knowing how to take this new medication, and they came prepared in each step of the journey. They pointed out some interesting insights, such as the fact that they noticed that the pharmacist did not say “Here’s your [name of medication].” As I do these workshops, I find that there’s a lot of uncertainty where the participant will be unsure as to the “rules” of which expert can do/say what. I thought it was interesting that the pain point here was in not knowing what to expect from the medication itself. I think this is a vital finding, because it’s easy to forget that the key element to this experience: that a person is typically going to the pharmacy to get something to help their overall health. The participant noted that at pharmacy there is a lot of anxiety and sense of “being flustered” because it’s the last step before getting the medication. It’s easy to zone out or feel so frazzled that you cannot focus because you are so worried about your health in this part of the process. It’s easy to forget your questions, which is why they came prepared with them written down to ask the pharmacist.
Cover Image Source: Freepik