The coronavirus has dominated the news recently and is the singular topic of discussion for the vast majority of people across the country for obvious reasons. Yet, until recently, the pharmacy profession had received very little public attention as it relates to the rapid spread of the virus in the United States and the precautions that are being taken publicly in our nation’s efforts to slow the coronavirus down. Now, however, several steps taken recently by numerous retail community pharmacies nationwide are placing the danger that many retail pharmacists are facing into the media “spotlight” when it comes to pharmacists and other ancillary pharmacy personnel being “front-line providers” for the public during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Is Curbside Only Prescription Service In The Near Future?
Many community pharmacies are now offering only curbside prescription pickup and dropoff as a means of protecting pharmacists and pharmacy personnel from exposure to the virus. Pharmacists have always been what’s been termed “easy access health professionals”, being physically accessible to the public at large in a business that is essentially location based and welcomes customers into their retail stores and locations to get their prescriptions filled and shop for various items like over-the-counter medications and remedies.
Here are just a few examples of the new curbside only prescription pickup and dropoff service that were featured in the news in just the past few days:
– In Omaha, Nebraska, customers of a local community pharmacy are no longer allowed inside the store to pick up or drop off their prescriptions. Stopping their customers at the door, no public traffic at all is allowed to enter Kubat’s Pharmacy. They offer patients the additional options of delivery service or mailing the Rx’s out, but if the patient insists on coming to the pharmacy, they simply won’t let them come inside. Instead, in an effort at keeping the staff safe from the threat of coronavirus exposure, the transaction is made right in the doorway of the pharmacy.
– In Colorado, the Good Day Pharmacies located in both Longmont and Loveland now offer customers only curbside prescription pickup and dropoff, along with the additional option of delivery service. Good Day management said that their retail operations want to do their part to help prevent the virus from spreading and they’re hoping that their “customer free stores” will help in doing just that.
– Just yesterday this curbside prescription pickup and delivery spread to a Health Center in Florence, South Carolina. McLeod Choice Pharmacy is the outpatient pharmacy at McLeod Health and began curbside pickup and delivery of prescriptions to patients. With designated parking spaces right outside the pharmacy, runners are stationed out in front of the pharmacy, taking prescriptions from patients and dropping off the prescriptions to the customer’s car when ready. In addition to filling just prescriptions, the employees and patients can give the runner a list of over-the-counter medications and they will do the shopping for them and take it all back to the car as well. Starting yesterday at about noon, the pharmacy serviced an estimated 120 customers by the time they closed their doors at 7 PM EST.
This curbside service is how customers are now goding to be “forced” to drop-off and pick up their prescriptions, OTC medicines and other items at community pharmacies all across the United States according to numerous industry experts. This change comes about in an effort to both slow down the rapid advance of the coronavirus, plus help protect the pharmacists and pharmacy personnel as “front-line providers” from getting the virus during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Relief Pharmacists in Emergencies Like the Coronavirus
The need for temporary and relief pharmacists during emergency situations like the one that our nation is currently facing is nothing new. Numerous potential lethal scenarios and emergency situations can and do occur – those times when an emergency relief pharmacist can be of such critical importance to a community. Potentially saving the lives of one’s own family, friends and neighbors, plus perhaps even helping to save the lives of complete strangers in dangerous times such as these, makes being an emergency relief pharmacist such a gratifying and rewarding job opportunity. In smaller rural areas with no pharmacists to rely on for “back-up” support, emergencies such as the one we now face dealing with the coronavirus can quickly turn into an escalating crisis for an entire community .
Choose an Emergency Pharmacy Staffing Firm
As these new and somewhat drastic precautions are being undertaken to help ensure the safety of retail pharmacists and ancillary personnel such as pharmacy technicians from being exposed to the coronavirus, the fact that numerous pharmacists will come down with the virus is a reality that cannot be overlooked. All pharmacy owners and managers must now rush to get an emergency relief plan in place if one or more of their pharmacists becomes afflicted with the coronavirus.
As with all other vendors, choosing the right pharmacy staffing agency is critical. You want one that is not too small as to be geographically constrained and that has a limited number of viable pharmacists that meet your specific needs. If you own or run a “smaller” pharmacy operation or business, then it’s important that the staffing firm you select to partner with is not too large and, therefore, is not service oriented when dealing with a “smaller” client’s immediate needs like yourself.
The perfect choice if your pharmacy is located in the Southeastern part of the US is Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing. Our emergency pharmacist staffing service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. HCC maintains one of the largest active pools of emergency pharmacists in the nation, thus allowing us to quickly locate available, qualified and reliable pharmacists during an emergency situation in the following states: Florida, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama. Our proprietary online system allows us to match your needs with the most qualified available candidates to work temporary relief during your emergency. HCC also ensures that all of our emergency pharmacists comply with all HIPAA requirements and also maintain professional liability insurance.
Please also note that HCC can fill all of your emergency relief staffing needs regarding pharmacy technicians (in Florida only). HCC has been the leading provider of qualified, registered, licensed and professional pharmacy technicians (CPhTs) in Florida since 1989. As with emergency pharmacists, satisfaction with our emergency pharmacy technician staffing is guaranteed!
We strongly urge you to be proactive regarding establishing a relation with us now (this way all required paperwork is completed before an emergency situation actually occurs or, as is the case of the coronavirus we presently face, escalates). Then, when you do actually require an emergency relief pharmacist, HCC will be ready to meet your needs so that you can relax and rest easy. Call us now at (800) 642-1652 or take a moment and Contact Us Online and an HCC in-house staffing consultant will contact you as soon as possible to discuss all of your emergency and staffing needs.