During the current COVID-19 response, global health and government officials have stepped forward to create a series of guidelines for the public to follow to help curb the spread of the virus. In the United States, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reminds everyone the best way to avoid this virus (and others like it) is to prevent exposure.
The CDC also reminds healthcare organizations to consider leveraging telemedicine technologies to prevent patients from coming into congested parts of facilities, potentially exposing themselves or others 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 into the hands of their patients while significantly reducing person-to-person contact. Following the current CDC and WHO recommendations, pharmacies can take a multitude of steps to maintain quality care with their patients and distance as they pick up their prescriptions:
- Create a centralized and secure pickup location for patients to receive their medications while being able to maintain social distance
- Allow pharmacists to engage with their patients via telehealth
- Avoid person-to-person checkout at the pharmacy counter and allow for automated pickup
South Carolina has been exemplary in executing on the CDC guidelines. The state authorized the expanded use of automated prescription pickup solutions 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, resulting in a 798% increase in automated prescription pickups in a single week, at a single location.
As all areas of healthcare continue to be impacted by COVID-19, automated prescription pickup is a safe, secure, and convenient way not only for patients to maintain medication adherence but for pharmacies to limit person-to-person contact and mitigate the risk of exposure to patients and staff.
More on COVID-19
COVID-19 is spread from person-to-person via respiratory droplets from an infected individual, such as when they cough or sneeze. 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 social distance between yourself and those outside of your immediate family unit, even for those showing no visible symptoms.