COVID-19 continues to alter communities across the nation and our pharmacists remain on the front lines providing essential care to patients in need. To support the brave efforts of our healthcare partners, PrescribeWellness has created a COVID-19 checklist, designed specifically for community pharmacists, to ensure both patients and providers remain informed and safe during the developing coronavirus pandemic.
Make a Plan
Pharmacies remain beacons of care in the midst of these uncertain times. Below are a few points to consider when developing your plan of action for continued community services.
- Consider how you will increase cleaning and sanitization efforts to promote a safe environment for staff and patients. Mandate effective hygiene measures such as glove-wearing and hand washing. Some pharmacies, like Magnolia Pharmacy, have an Alexa in the store that reminds staffers to regularly wash their hands and clean their stations.
- Encourage staff members who exhibit symptoms to stay home and to follow CDC recommended guidance.
- Execute effective communication to staff and patients. Develop and share any changes to procedure, such as updated store hours, through social media or storefront signage. Visit the PrescribeWellness blog for helpful downloadable resources.
Social distancing measures have been implemented in many states. Here are a few steps you can take to promote safe distance among your staff and patients.
- Consider offering curbside and/or drive-thru services to limit traffic and personal contact, which have been implemented at locations like Thompson’s Pharmacy. Limit the number of people in your store at any given time and consider adding tape marks on the sidewalk to denote where customers should stand. Wherever social distancing cannot be practiced, ensure your staff is wearing available PPE.1
- To avoid unnecessary contamination, assign staff to dedicated workstations and phones. You can also limit shared use areas and back-and-forth traffic throughout the pharmacy. Installing protective gear at the counter, such as sneeze guards, to build more distance between staff and patients is also an option.
- Increase your delivery service offerings for all patients, especially those in high risk populations. Confirm if patients are sick or in quarantine, as well as their payment preference, to ensure the delivery driver is prepared.2
Get in Touch with Patients
As the nation’s most accessible healthcare provider, pharmacists are well positioned to keep their communities informed, equipped, and safe through proactive patient engagement and communication initiatives. Here are a few ways to connect during this critical time.
- Let patients know of changing store hours and new precautionary measures via your website, social media, email, or text message. With the PrescribeWellness patient communications tool, you can let your patients know of any updated store procedures, or available essential home products.
- Use social media – you can even “go live” on many platforms. Steve Hoffart, pharmacist and owner of Magnolia Pharmacy, has been utilizing Facebook Live to regularly provide new updates, share helpful reminders, and serve as a voice of assurance to patients throughout his community.
To those on the front lines of COVID-19 prevention and control, PrescribeWellness thanks you for your tireless commitment to patient safety and community wellness.
Interested in learning how you can become more involved in ensuring a healthy community? Please reach out to us today. We are standing by to discuss how PrescribeWellness can support you, and the patients you serve, during this critical time.
1 Apotheke Adhoc, Peer-Apotheken Brixen/Lana, “Covid-19: Checklist for pharmacies,” https://www.apotheke-adhoc.de/fileadmin/user_upload/redaktion/service-downloads/Checkliste_Covid-19_englisch.pdf.
2 Arkansas Department of Health, “COVID-19 Guidance For Pharmacies,” https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/covid-19-guidance-for-pharmacies?fbclid=IwAR2vvhLvHPmPYGB-xkiLLS6-pC4U_HGcMndFQR-F69P7UpqdnweUEm8ThMc.