Articles, Blog

Flu Shots Shouldn’t Be This Hard | A Doctor’s Message To Health System Leaders

December 10, 2019


Hey guys, it’s Zubin Damania. Okay, this is a message for
you, hospital system CEO. Okay, the other day, me
and my family got flu shots and we went, okay, every
year I go to Target and this year I went to my local, big, huge California health system because that’s where pediatrician is. When we went there, we immediately
were treated like crap. We were treated like cattle, we were herded through a process, the person at the front was suspicious about,” Oh did you have
your address right?” “Are you trying to fool…” I’m like, ” What is this?” “Like I’m a patient here.” So, already I’m on edge,
my kids are nervous, I’m there with a friend
who’s scared of needles. We get processed through
and that’s the word “processed” and then cattle-car’d into an open space where grumpy nurses are
giving us these injections. Apparently, they’d
rather be somewhere else. So the whole experience was
terrible and it’s public so my friend who was afraid of needles, is getting an injection publicly and she’s scared, she’s gonna
cry or pass out or vasovagal. I mean, it was a horrible experience and I never even got what I really needed which was the proof of vaccination I needed for the hospital. This is a multi-billion dollar system that’s supposed to pride itself
on keeping people healthy and we wonder why we have a
50% rate of flu shot uptake. We make it as painful as possible. Now, here’s the thing. Last year and the years
before that, I went to Target. This is how that went down, you walk in, there’s
holiday music playing. It’s well-lit, you stand
in line for like a minute, there’s a pharmacist they say,” Hey, you wanna a flu shot,” “great fill out this, great.” Okay, we’ll bring you back
here in this private space, go through any questions you have, give you the injection in a
smooth painless professional way and off you go with your receipt saying, ”
Here’s what you got.” And we wonder why Target is gonna eat your lunch, Mr. Hospital CEO. If you’re not scared of the
Targets and the Walmarts who value cost,
convenience, and experience, okay, when we’re supposed
to be the big health system so the ones we’re supposed to do is like, In the old days it’s not like you went to Woolworths
to get your health care. You went to your family doctor, right? So, what happened? How is it that now our experience in these big health systems is miserable? And I’ll tell you, Target has figured out how to apply the lessons
of business processes actually effectively to the delivery of something like flu shots. Why can’t you? You have an MD and an MBA? What are you doing with it? Nothing, you can’t even
get a flu shot clinic right and I’m getting angry now because this is why people
don’t get their flu shots because they’re treated like crap by people that are supposed
to care about them. So, where should they go? I’m gonna tell them, “Go
to Target, go to Walmart” “get your flu shots there.” Because they do a great job and they’ll at least
seem to care about you. It was a very different experience so the call to action is this. Wake up, do your job,
you’re a leader, lead. We ought to own this. I do not wanna end up working for Target, doing liver transplants at
some point in the future because they’ve eaten
your lunch and they will. Get it together, we can do cost, quality and convenience better while taking care of the caregivers and that’s
where Target will never beat us because I don’t think those pharmacists could ever be as happy as a real team based
physician led organization like you’re running. So run it right. All right ZDogg out.

62 Comments

  • Reply kinpatu December 9, 2019 at 10:46 pm

    I got mine at my PCP. My wife got hers at the grocery store. Both were good experiences. I got a huge hematoma though that took 10 weeks to clear.

  • Reply lohphat December 9, 2019 at 10:47 pm

    The CEOs don't care. You're a cost. You're just delaying their next Gulfstream payment.

    There is no market forces to change the system. It's an inflexible market. The only solution is regulation. But that won't work either as you and I can't afford a legislator like they can.

    Sociopaths will never self-regulate.

  • Reply Joni Tutino December 9, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    I got mine at CVS. I also received the receipt for proof. Screw big box, money-driven healthcare centers.
    You got billed too for both pup's shots too! Sucks to be treated like regular patients. Thanks for being a strong advocate! ?

  • Reply Rebecca Cornett December 9, 2019 at 10:50 pm

    I got mine at Target and they even gave me a $5 gift card to use in store

  • Reply gman064 December 9, 2019 at 10:54 pm

    And you work there?

  • Reply Emma Upchurch December 9, 2019 at 10:56 pm

    I'm so glad we've got the NHS in the UK where we don't have to deal with this.

  • Reply Doctor Nosa December 9, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    Honestly, I disagree about your reason for people not getting their flu shots.

    Also, are you basing this off a one off bad experience?

  • Reply Barbara Foley December 9, 2019 at 11:04 pm

    We always verify addresses. That shouldn't be a big deal

  • Reply Apocalypse487 December 9, 2019 at 11:09 pm

    Target does a complete shit job of delivering pharmacy services. Absolute trash just like any retail pharmacy business.

    We have everything you're complaining about where I'm working. It's a billion dollar "non-profit" company.

  • Reply Venus Flowerbomb December 9, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    I have an immense appreciation for the portion of healthcare managed by pharmacies and drug stores (apart from the evil of insurance and PBMs). Target fulfills their drugstore services via a partnership with CVS, and I have typically encountered hard working, compassionate and caring techs and pharmacists. My CVS pharmacist, several years ago was the first and only healthcare provider/professional to inform me and warn me when beginning an SSRI for the first time to treat dysthymia- that due to my age (under 25) I could experience temporary suicidal ideation or thoughts for the first few days – week of beginning the medication, due to brain development still happening and all that jazz. When I actually did experience this, I was reminded of the woman’s brief yet thorough remarks about the ‘new medication counsel’ when I picked up the medication, and went back at look at the attached paper on the paper pharmacy package explaining it in greater detail. Read that it would most likely subside within 24 hours, and took precaution by having a family member stay with me for that time to make sure if the contrition worsened, I had someone to take me to the hospital for a nice stay in the mental health ward. It didn’t, and my depression as quality of life improves over the next few weeks. I actually still experience this when changing SSRI medications.

    Do I resent or blame my Dr. who prescribed the medication for not informing me? No. I won’t fault my physician for being overworked and stretched thin with charting, regulations, insurance and running his practice to miss a small detail like that. It absolutely sucks that our system is set up this way and needs change desperately, but for the moment this is an example of how the whole-archy works together for the good of patients. As a team, with every nurse, PA, MA, physician, pharmacist and every tech under the umbrella being vital in our success and quality of care.

  • Reply Adarsh Sahni December 9, 2019 at 11:11 pm

    You don't get yours at your Employee Health office??? No wait, nice staff that knows you and totally free.

  • Reply m ciofki December 9, 2019 at 11:12 pm

    Well said. I'm a US Navy Submarine veteran, and even in the VA healthcare system, the same opportunities to do better exist. Thank you for advocating for us!

  • Reply Carbon Forms December 9, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    A hospital, bloated administrative budgets with understaffing on the care side of things. If hospitals aren't careful, retail will eat their lunch!

  • Reply 4GreenFrog December 9, 2019 at 11:21 pm

    I had to go to Target at the end of October for my flu shot because my physician did not get any vaccine. The local big hospital in my town was scheduled to recieve their vaccine on Friday of that week. What's going on with the vaccine maker? Target had given 35 shots the day before mine and had given amost 30 when I was there.

  • Reply s10blazzing December 9, 2019 at 11:22 pm

    Also, Target gives you a $5 gift card for getting a flu shot with them. That’s hard to beat ?

  • Reply Amber Fejes December 9, 2019 at 11:28 pm

    It was an absolute uphill battle to get my 8 year old his flu vaccination. His insurance won't cover it unless it's done at his PCP'S office, they lost their stock of vaccinations due to an extended power outage. Neither urgent care or the walk-in clinic had the vaccination and the county health office only does vaccinations once a month. Ended up going to Walgreens and paying $50 out of pocket, just to ensure he was protected. It was such a frustrating ordeal.

  • Reply QQTrick1QQ December 9, 2019 at 11:28 pm

    Flu shots is a lucrative business. I'll never share a needle with a farm animal.I will not support the health industry in anyway, this includes big pharma and insurance. They feed off the sick. I am a DNR and will die at home.

  • Reply xPeonyx December 9, 2019 at 11:44 pm

    Pharmacies do a good job at flu shots and are quicker but we are short staffed and tempered too. I work for a retail pharmacy and my goal is to get you in and out as fast as possible which is..good to an extent but I've had days where I'll give 20+ shots in a row and I'm sweating my ass off trying to do that and fill prescriptions so my mood may not be the best. Nurses feel the same way..with the short staffing situation. I can understand the nurse mood but idk what they do for processing the shot.. it may be less efficient because it isn't such a huge money making thing like flu shots are to pharmacies. So pharmacy will make it quick and easy cause it puts an extra $25 in their pockets per shot

  • Reply Toni Rotolo December 9, 2019 at 11:51 pm

    Don’t forget Walgreens. They give out free flu shots for most health insurances and it was pleasant for me.

  • Reply M D December 10, 2019 at 12:06 am

    Yea but once target has the monopoly they will also switch to the herding set up. Its good until it isn't. If you are getting paid the same per shot there is incentive to do 60 patients per hour over 4.

  • Reply dsolomon December 10, 2019 at 12:07 am

    I wanted to get mine at our local pharmacist a few years ago, but they only did it for ages 12+. Our pediatrician's office ONLY does them from noon-1pm, so I would have to take my kids out of school and I'd have to take half a day off from work. It was too big of a hassle to do that, so my kids have been unprotected most years.
    I just looked up Target, and they seem to do it for nearly every kid and adult with a few state specific restrictions. I think we'll be going to Target! It seems silly to be going to the grocery store for your healthcare, but they seem to have better customer service and convenience in mind.

  • Reply Stephen Strickland December 10, 2019 at 12:17 am

    Haven't indulged in the systems injections for a decade or better and have no intention of starting.

  • Reply SAR dot December 10, 2019 at 12:20 am

    Gee, was it Kaiser Permanently sick?

  • Reply orion khan December 10, 2019 at 12:28 am

    gren’s law: every time you get the flu, children (stupidly) unvaccinated are to blame… remember that the next time you’re coughing so hard you pull muscles in your legs.

  • Reply brandelynmarie December 10, 2019 at 12:32 am

    Thank you.

  • Reply Sanjay Kapur December 10, 2019 at 12:32 am

    Big Hospitals just do not want to do flu shots. They are obligated do it but they really hope you go somewhere else. They deliberately make the experience as painful as possible to drive you away.

  • Reply BizzyGal405 December 10, 2019 at 12:33 am

    I was supposed to be able to keep my own doctor. Now i have to go to target for my medical care. wow.

  • Reply Natalie T7945 December 10, 2019 at 12:47 am

    Preach ZDogg!

  • Reply Dean Speerbrecher December 10, 2019 at 12:49 am

    Got mine at the neighborhood Rite Aid up the street. Wonderful experience. Put on a waiting list for the Shingles vaccine.

  • Reply JAD December 10, 2019 at 1:07 am

    RN here. Wow. Thank you…..just went to Safeway here in AZ….seamless experience WITH great patient education and kind & private injection process…..flu, shingles (saw to much during my RN career) and pneumonia vaccines. They ROCKED!!!! Thnx ZDogg….U do good sh*t!

  • Reply Julie Soper December 10, 2019 at 1:38 am

    I go to CVS Minute Clinic. Small walk-in wait time & always friendly. My primary care PA was a 3 month wait for appointment & was on hold for 15 minutes trying to make the appt. with harrassed staff.

  • Reply sandramA heynemana December 10, 2019 at 2:04 am

    Flu shots and the adjuvants suck. Won’t ever get another one. Bad reaction.

  • Reply Erin Laemmle December 10, 2019 at 2:13 am

    Thankyou!

  • Reply ca35indy December 10, 2019 at 2:18 am

    Is Target to be lauded here, or CVS who purchased Target's pharmacy operations some years ago? Either way it's good business.

  • Reply Paul Shoemaker December 10, 2019 at 2:20 am

    ZDogg, not sure which health system you’re referring to, I assume it’s KP. Not sure if you heard but their CEO recently (last month) passed away in his sleep.

  • Reply Paul Shoemaker December 10, 2019 at 2:20 am

    A great message, however!

  • Reply D Dvorak December 10, 2019 at 2:34 am

    Flu shots are mostly ineffective, so the potato quality starts at the pharmaceutical companies.

  • Reply Dark Delta December 10, 2019 at 2:51 am

    I get the flu vaccine free from the hospital at one of our satellite Urgent Care centers.Short wait times, friendly staff, and privately done. My wife, however gets hers done at a Publix (regional grocery chain). Mimics Target experience of ZDogg plus a $10 USD off coupon. ZDogg, sounds like your healthcare system has gone the way of ATT., don't like it go pound sand 5 others will take your place.

  • Reply Maria May December 10, 2019 at 3:11 am

    A liver transplant at Target doesn't sound so bad

  • Reply curly6509 December 10, 2019 at 3:19 am

    Ugh!

  • Reply JASON B December 10, 2019 at 3:22 am

    Shoulda just went to Target. My prediction is Walmart will enter the primary care realm and start having internal medicine and family physicians working as a health department. I believe they are already experimenting with nurse practitioners. The potential is huge. Pharmacy makes even more money.
    Then eventually Walmart will take over.

    But real talk, CVS and Walgreens treat pharmacists like utter shit. Probably worse than any hospital imagines treating doctors.

  • Reply curly6509 December 10, 2019 at 3:25 am

    When I worked in EMS, our company gave them to us at one of our yearly mandatory ceu classes. When I worked at the hospital, they gave them to us for free. It was in the open but off to the side. Very quick and easy. Go up, they scan your badge, ask a few questions, stick you with a needle and then give you that years flu shot sticker for your badge. No flu shot, you wear a mask. When I worked for another company that had a partnership with the hospital running inpatient rehab, it was the same. Except that the company I was working for fired you if you didn't get your flu shot.

  • Reply RachelO December 10, 2019 at 3:46 am

    That experience sounds like exactly what our school vaccine clinics were like. Mum took us to a nurses walk in clinic instead because she a) trusted them not to accidentally reuse needles and b) wanted it to be a positive or neutral experience. Watching the 50 kids in front of me go through, without the needle giving nurses saying a word to them, is what gave me fear. Then they'd round the vaso-vagal kids up and shove them in the middle of it.

  • Reply Jane Seum December 10, 2019 at 3:55 am

    My local Smith's pharmacist give great vaccinations in a private room. Love them!

  • Reply Tari N December 10, 2019 at 3:58 am

    Good to know. I'll be stopping by Target tomorrow for my shot. Thank you for the heads up.

  • Reply Meow December 10, 2019 at 4:44 am

    It's almost like the free market valuing the customer outperforms government- backed monopolies

  • Reply EDarien December 10, 2019 at 4:48 am

    Government subsidy of healthcare happened. With no one to hold them accountable and guaranteed income, the hospitals no longer care.

  • Reply Petal Parker December 10, 2019 at 5:01 am

    You have just described every medical experience I have ever had. Have not been to Dr in years.

  • Reply Kylie Burns December 10, 2019 at 5:25 am

    I gave out flu shots as a part of my nursing program. I go to a pretty big school with a huge hospital on campus. They really did herd people in like cattle. We gave shots to people out in public and it was super rushed. Most people didn’t get the paper they needed for nursing school or for the hospital if they worked there. Some of my class mates had to get there flu shots re done elsewhere because no documentation was given.

  • Reply Alice Swadner December 10, 2019 at 5:39 am

    Yup. But where’s the proof that healthcare workers should be required to get it? Effective? Likely not. PLOS2017.

  • Reply Gondwana December 10, 2019 at 5:55 am

    Try Safeway next time — great experience.

  • Reply Charlotte DiCintio December 10, 2019 at 6:19 am

    its actually CVS in target <3 love working there

  • Reply Neil Dudeja December 10, 2019 at 7:02 am

    I'll give you one better. My local RITE AID gave me a flu shot, in a private room, with an extremely kind staff, that took no longer than 10 min. You can't beat the free ice cream right afterwards too.

  • Reply Jojo Jo December 10, 2019 at 7:02 am

    You're one of my favorite Youtubers. This is WHY. Good job! ?

  • Reply Jojo Jo December 10, 2019 at 7:03 am

    Do your job. Lead. If you're a leader, act like one, if you can't prove it, at least act like one!!!!

  • Reply Robert Szasz December 10, 2019 at 8:18 am

    Kaiser is pretty painless while doing their flu shot clinics. ID and MRN to two folks and you're done. I don't think they have any private areas though, since they have multiple stations going.

  • Reply F/V Tax Slave December 10, 2019 at 10:05 am

    Why are flu shots free? It’s for the good of everyone is the usual answer. Using that logic why isn’t anything else free?? One more question- why did they pass laws that if you’re adversely affected by vaccine shots you can’t sue or get any help for the damage it may cause in some people. Target won’t even give you an aspirin for free or the hospital. Hell at the hospital the aspirin shows up on your bill for about a hundred bucks.

  • Reply Frank Delgrosso December 10, 2019 at 10:22 am

    But um Wal mart is our future for meidcal care? Maybe we might want to look at that…just saying. I mean those guys just want to keep you alive as long as your still profitable. Once your an old horse I think thiey got no shots for you.

  • Reply Ashley Godfrey December 10, 2019 at 10:47 am

    Our doctor hosted a flu shot clinic, and it was a great experience. We went in, filled out the paperwork, and then they took us into an exam room. One nurse gave all 3 of my kids their flu shots, and she was really nice about it. She asked my kids if they were ready and waited until they gave her the okay. She soothed my youngest who was really afraid. Then, she gave them all stickers and congratulated them on being so brave. As much as I don't like the way other things are handled with our practice, the flu shot clinic was great. Granted, they are part of the hospital, and the hospital sucks for EVERYTHING here. I have had to call a patient advocate for how I have been treated the last 3 times I have gone to that hospital. Not even kidding.

  • Reply Poo Poo December 10, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    Knew a nurse that thought flu shots cause cancer.

  • Reply Raquel M December 10, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    Let's get the cattle in line … for that shot

  • Reply Israel-Did-9/11 December 10, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    No one should be getting flu shots. Do you even know the shit in there? Obviously not…

    let me tell you: DNA material from animals, formaldehyde (to preserve dead bodies), aluminum and mercury (disease causing)

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