Evaluation Time

       It’s getting close to that time of year again for me.  That’s right, it’s time for the dreaded employee performance evaluation at work.

       An awkward ritual for many employees; the performance evaluation is chalked up as a necessary evil for so many us.   Unfortunately, pharmacists aren’t immune from such a process. 

       The general justification for a performance evaluation is to assign merit and to quantify performance.  Those job scores are usually used for the purpose of calculating employee raises.  So why do I dread my performance evaluations so much? 

       It’s not that I think I’ve done a poor job.  It’s just that my real performance is often ignored or over-looked. 

       Modern day performance evaluations for many community pharmacists have turned into another game of metrics.  We aren’t evaluated on what we do anymore.  We’re judged on business metrics and corporate focal points. 

       I have no problem with the concept of an evaluation.  I know my boss and my employer want to see that I’m doing my work in a competent and efficient manner.

       But for once, I’d love for one of my employee evaluations to be just that- an evaluation of MY work.  I don’t think numbers like generic percentage calculations for my region or store is a valid metric to judge my work as a pharmacist. 

       So much of community pharmacy has been reduced to business analysis.  We’re all so focused on minimizing lost revenue and maximizing profits that the thought of patient care or helping people becomes a secondary goal at least on paper. 

       I watched some college basketball games the other weekend.  One of the announcers said this about a player who was just taken out of a game- “he does so many things that don’t end up in the stat sheet.” 

       That’s the way I feel sometimes as a retail pharmacist.  I do a lot of things that will never end up on one of those business reports.  Patient care just isn’t as easy to quantify as inventory levels or generic percentages.   

       I guess this is one more example of how community pharmacy pushes pharmacists away from our instinctive patient-care thought processes.  We simply aren’t judged by our work as much as we’re held accountable for the performance of a store or geographical area. 

       So yes, I will sit through another employee evaluation soon.  But the talk that will flow from that meeting will have little to do with how well I’ve done. 

        I just hope that we haven’t ordered too many expensive drugs lately.  After all, that’s the true measure of a good pharmacist isn’t it?  Not really, but it sure seems that way.

The Redheaded Pharmacist

3 Comments to “Evaluation Time”

  1. By Seth, March 4, 2013 @ 11:08 pm

    I agree with your 1000%. I work on the other side of the counter from you as a manager but it doesnt change the idea. Its all based on scripts filled/generics and profits and the numbers. The true customer interaction and feel does not matter like it used to as its all based on matrix that somebody in an office that has not been face to face with customers and patients day to day in years.

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  2. By Pharmaciststeve, March 5, 2013 @ 4:47 pm

    Your company is measuring numeric metrics is because that is what they can report to the stock market. The stock market can’t wrap their minds around the value of trust and/or good will.
    Anyone who has worked in a number of stores.. knows that every store and its staff has its own personality.. expecting all the stores to perform similarly .. is like comparing sibling and expecting each to be the mirror image of the others.
    Your employer’s idea of good patient outcome .. is how much money came out of the pt’s pocket each time they were in.
    If we ever hope to get paid for good patient health outcomes.. which is measuring an intangible… the pharmacy system has to change its concept and goals.
    With Obamacare on the horizon with its focus on saving money.. we may have discussed the issue much too long… I don’t know how many times I have had a bureaucrat say “don’t ask me to spend a dime to save a dollar, we aren’t going to do it”.

    Your value to the corporation can be summed up… ROI

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  3. By Kezguy, March 9, 2013 @ 7:37 pm

    The metrics will be the end all to the evaluation and the end of pharmacy as a profession. I started a new “game”… I hand each customer I interact with a Werther’s candy and a note that says “if you got good service please call 1-800… I average about one compliment a week… far and above any other RPh… let’s see how my evaluation goes…

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