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A new name for every provider

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The way that I was raised is that people have a First, a Middle, and a Last name.  However, in certain cultures, its customary to take your mothers maiden/uncle/second cousin removed/mothers uncle’s dog/etc name and cram them all into one name that’s about 20 words long.

If you wish to have a name that takes 4 pages to write out, more power to you.  However when it comes to medicine  you need to use the SAME NAME EVERYWHERE.  That is your doctor, your pharmacy, and your insurance company for those at home who are a bit slow (or still typing out their name to comment to this entry).

I get really annoyed when you scream at me that your Rx is not ready to go because you decide to use names 1,2 and 3 at the doctors office, while being in our system with names 1, 4 and 6 WHILE your insurance card has names 2, 3 and 4 on it. Choose a First, Middle, Last.  It’s not hard, and even though you may be showing disrespect to some family member that you have never met, it will save both headaches (and your life) later on down the road.


How am I supposed to know that Jose Gonzalez Guadalupe Hernandez in our computer is REALLY the Juan Guadalupe Ortega that the doctor called in the Rx for?  I mean it really doesn’t help that the insurance card that you just handed me has Jorge Juan Hernandez Ortega written on it since it doesn’t match what we have in the computer nor what the doctor called in.  Sure I can look you up by your birth date, but do you know how many Maria Hernandez’s we have in the computer that were born on that date?  If you choose a different name combination every single time you come in, how can we scan your profile for any interactions?  Its hard enough when you go to multiple doctors and multiple pharmacies, but if you have 4 different profiles in our system alone? Are the bells ringing here? Am I making any sense?  Am I the only pharmacist in the world who has to deal with patients that have 15 fucking names?  Its frustrating, and its even more frustrating when you blame ME that YOU don’t use a consistent name throughout the health-care system.

Comments #

Comment by TheOtherOne on 2008-06-25 09:06:19 -0700 #

I’m in a different field. What gets me is the people who call in with questions and identify themselves only by a first name (or nickname).
Sorry, but I really, really can’t help you until I can figure out who you are. And it might surprise you to find out that I have heard from more than one “Ali” or “Chris”. . .

Comment by The Ole’ Apothecary on 2008-06-25 09:13:26 -0700 #

Some years ago, because of the idea that my “name” was “stolen” from me at Ellis Island or Portland Harbor, I considered changing my name “back” to the form it was in when my grandfather and great grandfather had it. But, I have long since changed my mind. Changing my name does not change me, and would be an insult to my parents who both wore the name proudly and then gave it to me. It is also the name that my father and uncle had in each of the theaters of World War II (Atlantic and Pacific). So, for a lot of good reasons, I have ONE name and will ALWAYS have one name and will only USE one name.
Also, it has become so fashionable to do graffiti on one’s name and one’s children’s name (consider all the posts about “unique” children’s names) that I don’t want to contribute to that mayhem at all.

Comment by RJS on 2008-06-25 13:32:39 -0700 #

No, you’re not the only one. Not by a long shot. Also a huge fucking problem are the toolbags who have hyphenated last names for some fucking reason, who sometimes use the hyphenated form, sometimes don’t and when they don’t, they can’t remember if they’re using their maiden name or their married name in your particular establishment!
Either take your husband’s name or don’t, but don’t fucking hyphenate it and then forget what your fucking name is. Shit or get off the pot already. I don’t give a fuck what your name is, and your husband probably doesn’t either. Hyphenating it automatically labels you as a cock-gobbling thundercunt in the eyes of ANYONE who works in a service industry. How lovely for you.

And I’ll see your multiple names and raise you one patient with dissociative identity disorder that we have, that has two distinct names and goes by a different name regularly. I’ve been able to get her down to one profile with notes everywhere so people not from our store don’t get confused. Oy.

Comment by on 2008-06-25 13:46:32 -0700 #

I kid you not, the name on the “state” card plan is King of Glory(first name that is), but they are called John or Maria or some very common name in the english speaking language. For those of you that don’t know what I mean by “state” plan, I mean medicaid. Some people work for the state and have BCBS…And of course, the real name is not John or Maria and has been changed so you hippo police won’t come busting in to arrest me and just FYI, you don’t know the last name so go screw yourself and Bill since it came to pass under him and all his “I did not inhale glory or have sex with that woman.” And just b/c I poke fun at 1 former pres doesn’t mean I am a horse or a donkey…GREAT post TAP!!!!

Comment by Maria Juanita Conchita Al-Habib Hadeet Suarez Fuqyu on 2008-06-25 14:10:45 -0700 #

You racist! YIYIYYYIYIYYYYIYIYYYIYIYI (wild Middle East uvulation). Yeah. Dealt with that. Computers fukkin puke sometimes when you tell them to merge two different medical records. I don’t know if I hate computers or people more. No wait. People. Just the assholes. I try to deal with them as little as possible. Await the total downfall of humankind as the reliance on computers increases and your inbox swells with Thousands instead of 50 emails per day. Your annual PA will be administered by an SQL soon. Real life means little. Sorry should have had me Ritalin today. I mean Ritalin Super-XR patented osmotic release tablet laser drilled system-check stool for RXR-20 tablet remnants patented until 2020. Wee
Love you in a nonfaggot way TAP. FTE
/Vulgar Foul Bastard RPh

Comment by Cathy Lane RPh on 2008-06-25 15:38:39 -0700 #

Chances are the patient has been ‘asked’ the question verbally and then the asker wrote whatever was heard. Sometimes, the problem rolls along for quite a long time–sometimes, it’s just better to ask for the birth or marriage certificate?
In my case, I forestall any questions that the asker can ask by asking for the paper and printing out my name in my own legible handwriting, as it was tiring to always be telling the danged asker how to spell my name–believe me, it can be a little frustrating (‘Is that with a C or a K, etc.)
When I’m doing the asking, I tell the person to write whatever name they can legally sign their check with. (I’ve had people to come resurface the driveway ask for payment in cash and spell their own name– for reference purposes, several different ways in the document!)
Another issue is a system problem in documents that allow only 15 spaces to enter one’s name, and then the next time the slot is open for 27 characters. Which ones to use? And, how about the auto-truncation of hyphenated names on the official forms? Sometimes, a name is broken up pretty hilariously. And, what about those that have no middle name, yet the person is required to put in something in that ‘middle’ slot; make up a name like Harry ‘S.’ Truman?
The funniest name entry problem I ran across was when a new admitting clerk at the hospital entered Joseph P. Blow III with ‘III’ as the last name. It took some time trying to find that account to enter med orders in the pharmacy.

Comment by Richard on 2008-06-25 18:47:39 -0700 #

i work in an area with lots of Afghani immigrants.
Traditionally, Muslim patients have their “birth” names and then their common names. So their health card will say Abu Muhammad but they call me and say “its Abu Nassir…” and you spend all day trying to find who the fuck Abu Nassir is.
THEN…they ask me about their wives. Muhammed and Nassir are the two last names, but his wife’s name is Heba Bashir, but I am supposed to somehow know his wife has a different name.
AND THEN their kids. last name isn’t Bashir, Bassir or Muhammed. Their kids have the last name of Heba after their mom’s first name.
but they get mad at me for not knowing any of this.

Comment by “Are you being helped?““Yeah, that little girl is messing up everything” Yeah, that’s me on 2008-06-25 21:13:02 -0700 #

Haha! I ran into this exact same problem a couple of weeks ago (even a couple of the names that you used were the same!) I have also run into these problems when people try to use a couple ($10 giftcard with any new or transferred prescription!) and they don’t want us to see that they transfer their Rx’s with every coupon… You must not have to deal with those since I’ve never seen a rant (but I would love to hear what you would have to say about them!)

Comment by “Are you being helped?““Yeah, that little girl is messing up everything” Yeah, that’s me on 2008-06-25 21:13:30 -0700 #

Haha! I ran into this exact same problem a couple of weeks ago (even a couple of the names that you used were the same!) I have also run into these problems when people try to use a couple ($10 giftcard with any new or transferred prescription!) and they don’t want us to see that they transfer their Rx’s with every coupon… You must not have to deal with those since I’ve never seen a rant (but I would love to hear what you would have to say about them!)

Comment by The Girl With The Glasses on 2008-06-25 21:59:08 -0700 #

This is the first time I have read your blog, infact it was suggested by a pharmacist I work with. I am a technician, and I have related exactly to every one of your blogs that were listed! In fact I have had three of these patients come in today, you know, who couldn’t decide who they wanted to be that day!
Also, just to add to this, MY FAVORITE BLOG SO FAR- “Pet Peeves, number eleventy-billion” I will be on here to read more, and probably will find a different favorite, but hey! Patients can change thier minds one hundred times, why can’t I?
Thanks for being so Angry, I feel like Im venting too!

Comment by fred on 2008-06-26 08:24:33 -0700 #

we go through that here all the time.
lots of rich people have a couple different names…. some of our hollywood transplants use their married names at the doctors.. but their insurance (SAG) card has their screen name on it… it gets crazy.

Comment by nodrugs4u on 2008-06-26 09:30:17 -0700 #

I think this is the result of lack of understanding of American cultural and social customs. I am sure that in whichever country they are from, the use of multiple names or multiple combination of names are common. These people either do not realize or do not care that here in the United States, we go by one name and one name only (unless there’s something shady going on).
When this happens in my store, I simply tell them that we are not the FBI or the CIA, we do not know what other names you go by. Now, we’ll have to re-do your prescription. At this time, this will take about xxx minutes. Please have a seat over there. If screaming continues, then I will use my favorite line: “Apparently we cannot provide the service you require. This is my card. When you find a pharmacy that is capable of providing the service that you need, have the pharmacist give me a call and I will transfer your prescriptions to them.” Next!!!
Customers will walk all over us if we are not willing to lose a customer. Customer is not always right, and I refuse to bend over everytime some dumb ass starts screaming.
There is a slang in my native language that roughly translates as “there is no medicine for stupidity.” Unfortunately, I am a big believer in that if one doesn’t take an active role in his/her care, then he/she does not deserve the best care that this country has to provide.

Comment by meggolego on 2008-06-26 14:28:56 -0700 #

yep, it’s all my fault that you don’t know your daughter’s last name, go ahead and yell at me. it’ll make things go much faster

Comment by drone on 2008-06-26 16:55:51 -0700 #

how about when all your patients have names that sound or are spelled the same? i think that asian names are some of the most difficult to deal with because so many share exact/similar names…but on the other hand.. at least they tend to only have three names
btw, you should check out
at least we’re not alone in all the stupidity…

Comment by JEFF on 2008-06-26 17:08:00 -0700 #

I actually had a gentleman of hispanic origin come in today and present me with his Social Security card, Medicare card, and his state Medicaid card. This particular person only had 3 names. However, these 3 names appeared in 3 different orders on the 3 different cards… I think I’ll go drink some battery acid now…

Comment by rph3664 on 2008-06-26 20:13:11 -0700 #

Cathy Lane, there are some people in my area for whom “Iii” is their actual last name. The first time I saw it, it was a patient in our psych unit and I thought it was a pseudonym, but it wasn’t.
I do not know what nationality that name is, but they all have standard-issue first names.

Comment by inna on 2008-06-26 20:22:03 -0700 #

i’m gonna side with RJS on the hyphenated names. nothing beats my patient who insists that her cat goes by her hyphenated name. jesus.

Comment by COUGPHARM on 2008-06-26 21:20:50 -0700 #

In related news… Try this shit on for size; Two patients, twins, in their 40’s living together at the same residence, both fat and ugly, same last name still (not married, what a shocker), one named Joan and the other Joann. Are you fucking kidding me?

Comment by Ryan on 2008-06-27 07:04:37 -0700 #

God you could not be anymore correct. I hate it when these crapbag people come in for a prescription and get mad at me cause i cant find it in my system. And when i ask them if it could be under a different name they get a goddamn attitude with me cause I’m trying my best to get these wastes of space human beings out of my pharmacy as quickly as possible.

Comment by Aimee on 2008-06-27 09:25:04 -0700 #

I love your rants! Check out my site!

Comment by on 2008-06-27 12:54:35 -0700 #

AP, you do NOT want to know my name. It’s even worse than Jose Gonzalez Guadalupe Hernandez.

Comment by dorkyrph on 2008-06-27 15:00:15 -0700 #

TAP, they don’t just give a shit. It’s YOUR problem.
Lack of understanding of American cultural and social customs, my ass. They managed to get the green card/driver’s license/Medicaid card, so what makes it so difficult to get a prescription filled? If they’re smart enough to get this far, you’d think they’d make it simple so they can get in and out and back to Judge Judy as soon as possible. Just a guess, but that’s what I’d do, and I’m just a glorified cashier.

Comment by Steph on 2008-06-27 23:10:12 -0700 #

Uhh…anyone but me suspect insurance fraud? You’re not allowed to suspect insurance fraud of an illegal immigrant, but uh…
Multiple people can use a single card in order to receive care, AND, in the case of our Hollywood friend, an individual can use several names to acquire heaps of narcotics on which to overdose.

Comment by Frank on 2008-06-28 01:39:45 -0700 #

Once I filled a prescripttion for a lady then went to lunch, when I came back everyone at pharmacy started
yelling at me that I lost the lady’s Rx. She was standing at the counter, steaming, and sending death rays to me… so I went to the bin and grabbed her Rx and gave it to cashier. Guess what… the name she was giving to everyone was different from what I had typed and what was on the RX. Meanwhile she started talking in her cell phone, staring right at me and cusing me (it sounded like she was)! Unbelievable!

Comment by Jace on 2008-06-28 11:49:45 -0700 #

you people are so stupid. everyone knows there is something about every job that is awful and aggrivating. duh. but get over it. you act like this is the end of the world. so you have to tell them they are not in the system or something. big deal. doesnt directly influence you. and im pretty sure that no matter what, youre going to still be making your 10 dollars and hour hourly wage. maybe you should take your job so seriously. if you cant handle life at cvs, go somewhere else.

Comment by Sean on 2008-06-29 11:55:36 -0700 #

This is a reason why i am just DONE with retail. I have been a tech for 9 years and besides XL and XR drugs coming out when their counterparts go generic, nothing changes. I am a teacher now at a technical institute for pharmacy techs. I tech only PT. I can’t say how much I really do not enjoy retail anymore…just things to avoid…and things not to do… ARGH!

Comment by anonymous tech on 2008-06-30 06:22:01 -0700 #

I live in one of those towns where 3/4 of the people have the same ten last names, and half of the boomers seem to have the first name Mary or Bob. Then they get mad when you have to ask for a full middle name AND a bday because there are 15 Mary J. Smiths. And then they name all their kids Sarah and Steve, so the unoriginality and confusion can continue for another generation. Next up: Emma and Jacob. I think these families get together every 20 years and pick two names they have to name their first born son and daughter, just to fuck with us.

Comment by on 2008-07-01 15:43:13 -0700 #

Jace, you aren’t a pharmacist and we do take our jobs seriously b/c we’re dealing with LIVES, maybe even yours…anyway, just so you know, last time I checked most pharmacist make 6 figures which would be more than 50 bucks an hour 🙂

Comment by cienna2000 on 2008-07-04 17:59:15 -0700 #

I just found your blog today. I work in Medical Records for a Community Clinic.
It’s just as much fun trying to Juan’s ER records from the hospital so that the doctor can see him for the follow up ER visit as it is for you to fill the prescription. Because we always have him under one name and the hospital under another. I’m supposed to have the records prior to the visit and in the chart, but when there are this many names involved I cannot do so, then the doctor comes out of the room and hands me a list with 3-7 more names to try (or if I’m really lucky the discharge paperwork) so I can call again. I am always left wishing they would use ONE name so I could do my job correctly the first time.

Comment by S on 2008-08-14 01:25:57 -0700 #

I’d really drive you crazy I have a hyphenated first and last name. And a bunch of middle names that no one ever gets right. My parents just couldn’t make up their minds.

Comment by PharmerRyan on 2008-08-23 21:54:36 -0700 #

Don’t forget all the lovely ladies who got married…but must have forgotten. Excuse me, but isn’t marriage a rather important step in a person’s life? Subsequently, wouldn’t changing one’s last name be rather noteworthy? I absolutely can’t believe the number of times on a regular basis that some snot starts an argument with me about whether or not she’s used my pharmacy before, only to discover that, oh yeah….I’m married now and my last name is Blahblahblah.
I just want to tell everybody: Call yourself whatever you want…I don’t care. Use hyphens, initials, nicknames, make things up…I don’t care! JUST BE CONSISTENT!! If you want to call yourself Shithead Fucker Asshole-Cuntface, that’s fine…just make sure it says that on your driver’s license, insurance card, medical records, and at my pharmacy! Thanks and have a delightful day.

Comment by Corn hole on 2018-08-03 17:29:39 -0700 #

What’s your real name?