Offerings like automated prescription pickup allows pharmacies to follow social distancing guidelines

In response to COVID-19 global health officials have created a series of guidelines to help curb the spread of the virus. The Center for Disease Control reminds everyone the best way to avoid this virus is to prevent exposure. The CDC has also recommended leveraging telemedicine or automated prescription pickup technology to allow patients to socially distance themselves. This ensures patients can receive quality care from a distance. No longer do patients have to wait in crowded pharmacies to speak to a pharmacist. Generally, a lack of pharmacy congestion can potentially prevent patients and staff from any airborne exposure to COVID-19. With telehealth becoming more prevalent than ever, pharmacies can adopt telehealth strategies to reduce pharmacy staff and patient risk.

Automated prescription pickup technologies, like ScriptCenter, enable pharmacists to safely get prescriptions to patients. This behavior can significantly reduce person-to-person contact. Following the current CDC and WHO recommendations, pharmacies can take action to maintain quality care with their patients:

  • Create a centralized pickup location via automated prescription pickup devices to encourage social distancing
  • Allow pharmacists to engage with their patients via telehealth
  • Avoid person-to-person checkout at the pharmacy counter and allow for automated pickup

States Take Action

South Carolina has been exemplary in executing the CDC guidelines. The state authorized the expanded use of automated prescription pickup solutions. This was so that hospitals could leverage the technology to mitigate risk to the population. One hospital using a ScriptCenter MX Kiosk created a centralized pickup point for employees and patients. This effort resulted in a 798% increase in automated prescription pickups in a single week, at a single location.

While healthcare is impacted by COVID-19, automated prescription pickup offers a secure way to encourage medication adherence and maintaining distance. Similarly, remote pickup locations mitigate the risk of exposure of airborne illness to patients and staff.

More on COVID-19

COVID-19 is spread from person-to-person via respiratory droplets from an infected individual. The CDC recommends washing your hands often for 20 seconds at a time and avoiding close contact with people that are sick or infected by putting “distance between yourself and other people.” The term commonly used is “social distancing.” The World Health Organization (WHO) defined social distancing as “maintain[ing] at least 1-meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone [else].” Health and government officials encourage maintaining some social distance between yourself and those outside of your immediate family unit, even for those showing no visible symptoms.

Further Education:

From the CDC – How to Protect Yourself & Others

From the WHO – Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Advice for the Public

Steps Healthcare Facilities Can Take Now to Prepare for COVID-19