During the Pandemic, Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians will need to make quicker, timelier decisions which may feel uncomfortable and will push them to have increased belief in their own experience to draw upon experience around them. We have put together some top tips that you can implement in your Premises, Staff and Practice.
By now, you’re probably already considering how you will communicate with your patients to ensure social distancing measures are met and staff are not overwhelmed. Some of you have implemented SMS services, Email Consultations and are utilizing your social media platforms to answer queries. Most have already considered their highest risk and most vulnerable patients and have delivery services in place with staff members and other volunteers to help support them during this difficult time.
So, how can you look after your staff during these highly pressurised times? Below we have highlighted some research based ideas of how to alleviate some of this stress.
1. Adjust Staff Rotas - This will ensure that staff are not patient facing all the time. Alternate your delivery drivers, especially the ones delivering medication to patients who are self isolating. Always be considering their safety.
2. Hygiene - Ensure the facilities are in place so that your staff can regularly wash their hands to minimise the risk of staff illness.
3. Staff illness - Should Staff get ill you will need to be prepared to have ex staff members cover or external locums. We have a database with over 8,000 Locums that you can avail of instantly. Click here to sign up.
How to Safeguard Your Premises
1. Signage - Display the latest Coronavirus advice on the front door of your Pharmacy and on the surrounding walls. This will make customers more alert of the precautions you are taking and that they need to take. Please click here to download a poster with up to date Government information. (LINK)
2. Barriers - Consider creating barriers between you and your patients (1-2m) around your counter. Pharmacies in Europe have installed plexiglass screens like in Banks. Create clear isles for patients to be able to maintain social distancing measures in queues.
3. Restricted Entry - Restrict the number of people entering your Pharmacy to avoid overcrowding and to ultimately stop the spread of the virus.
Precautionary Measures For Your Practice:
1. Signing on Patients Behalf - To reduce the risk of transferring germs, consider signing the back of prescriptions on a patients behalf.
2. Increase Cleaning Frequency - Most pharmacies have been closing for 1 hour a day (usually half way through the day) for a clean down of surfaces, doors and shelves.
3. Limiting Sale of Products - Reviewing your business continuity plan will really help. Consider how you plan to deal with requests to supply medications early to patients who are feeling that they may need to self isolate, consider how you will sustain adequate stock control of essential medication and how you will limit the sale of over the counter medications like paracetamol to account for potential future medication shortages.
4. Delivery Service & Volunteers - Have you prioritised your delivery service? By having a plan of action in place, it will allow you to manage the demand more efficiently.
5. Contact Free - Take contactless payments instead of cash payments and create a contact free service for you and you patients.