The novel coronavirus pandemic has made the need for accessible, widespread testing quite clear. Following the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) recent declaration that allowed pharmacists to conduct COVID-19 testing, PrescribeWellness could not be more proud of how pharmacies have responded to facilitate COVID-19 testing in communities across America. Now, the HHS has even more good news for pharmacists.
New HHS guidance issued on May 19, 2020, overrides all state and local rules preventing pharmacists from administering COVID-19 diagnostic tests. This announcement paves the way for pharmacists nationwide to administer COVID-19 tests, further bolstering the role pharmacy plays in increasing access to health and fulfilling another critical step towards curbing the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) praised the guidance, shining a light on the “21,000 independent pharmacists across the country… [who] can now make an even bigger contribution to the war against COVID-19.”
Public health benefits of testing
Empowering pharmacies and pharmacists to serve communities by administering tests for the virus that causes COVID-19 is critical to maintaining public health. Testing helps investigators characterize the prevalence, transmission, and contagiousness of the disease, all of which are important factors in the larger public health picture with respect to the degree of intervention needed to slow the virus’ spread.
Accessible testing allows health experts to understand where and how to focus mitigation efforts. Quick identification of positive cases leads to immediate treatment and isolation of those infected, substantially slowing the spread of the disease. Testing also helps with contact tracing. Whenever a positive COVID-19 diagnosis is confirmed, local health departments can work with patients to identify those who may have come into contact with an infected person, so they can be monitored and quickly treated if needed.
PrescribeWellness & COVID-19 testing
PrescribeWellness remains committed to serving our community pharmacy partners during this critical time by providing pertinent information and resources that are conducive to more effective care. That is why we are proud to offer our front line community providers the opportunity to secure authorized and reliable testing kits through our online purchase form. Our dedicated team members are standing by to provide you support throughout the entire testing process, such as facilitating the transportation of specimens for lab processing.
We have also created an in-depth webinar series designed to provide pharmacists and staff members with the latest information surrounding COVID-19. This series is brought to you in three parts by our expert clinical PrescribeWellness staff. The webinar covers an array of important topics such as the operationalization of a testing clinic within community pharmacy, prevalent scams and fraud, as well as emerging medications and treatments.
For more information on how PrescribeWellness can support your community pharmacy during the developing coronavirus pandemic, including the securing of testing opportunities, contact us today through the form below.