Pharmacists and their staff have a lot of contact with the general public every day. And the interaction takes place indoors. Both of these factors show how important it is for pharmacy workers to take precautions against the coronavirus.
Several cases have been reported where pharmacists or pharmacy staff have contracted the virus. To help minimize the risk, the Ohio Department of Health has published a detailed list of recommendations for pharmacy workers.
Recommendations for Protection Against COVID-19
Put together a brochure with essential information for patients – how to get prescription refills, what emergency supplies they should buy, insurance coverage for medications, and any other information deemed important by the pharmacist. This will help to reduce face-to-face interaction.
Talk to patients about stocking up on cold medications as soon as possible, so if they should contract the virus, they will be prepared.
Set up a procedure for older people, pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions to get their medications without waiting in line.
Make sure you have guidelines in place to prevent the spread of the virus. These include distancing guidelines – staff should be at least three feet away from other people and at least six feet away from people who are exhibiting signs of infection, such as coughing. Require patients to maintain a distance of six feet from others at all times. Everyone should be required to wear a mask.
A bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be located next to the pickup window for customers to use after they collect their medications.
Keep an eye on staff for signs of illness. Take each person’s temperature when they begin their shift and make them go home if they show signs of respiratory infection.
Review the sick leave policy to allow staff members to take sick leave if a family member becomes ill and includes steps that need to be taken when an employee returns to work after taking sick leave.
Have a plan of action in place if a staff member is exposed to an infected person.
Review standing orders and collaborative practice agreements to ensure you are fully aware of what they cover if you need to use them.
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