How to protect your staff and your patients in COVID-19 age
We don’t normally think about all the ways we are interconnected throughout the day until we are asked to avoid people. Social distancing involves avoiding large gatherings. But how many people is too many to be a threat? Is it just events and mass gatherings you need to avoid? If you have to be around people, keep 6 feet between you when possible. Take steps to limit the number of people you come into close contact with. This will help to limit the spread of Corona Virus in the community.
And what social distancing means to pharmacy? Some pharmacies already have a perspex barrier separating staff and patients but for sure there many other HCPs trying to minimise contact. Combining high quality service and security to patients and staff is for sure a big challenge. Pharmacy has now 2 major issues: first of all avoiding patients to catch the disease just because they collected their medicines in the pharmacy. Said that pharmacy has to protect staff. In Italy there are already problems caused by a significant number of health care operators positive to COVID19. So if you want to guarantee the necessary services to patients, you have to protect health care teams in any possible way.
In Europe we are already providing support and counselling to pharmacies for adopting proper social distancing procedures. The solution is a combination of simple rules, new space and distance regulations but also by adopting technologies that are reducing the contacts. What can be done digitally or by a robot is now more secure than human interaction.
Some pharmacies in Holland and UK already adopted automation for prescription delivery: that means patient receives notifications at his cell phone and for the medicine pick up it is not necessary enter the pharmacy anymore. The Pharmaself24 can help by automating the handing out of dispensed medicines, thereby minimising direct contact for pharmacy teams while also letting patients collect their medicines 24/7 without having to queue in the pharmacy.
SOCIAL DISTANCING is absolutely necessary for the security of patients and for guaranteeing pharmacists to be able to provide their valuable service to community in long terms. The solutions are immediately available: it’s up to us.