Given the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19 and increasing risk to pharmacy staff and vulnerable patients, we recommend pharmacies seriously consider implementing measures to manage access into the pharmacy.
Management of patient flow, particularly people with any symptoms of cold or flu, will be important to protect both pharmacy staff and vulnerable patients from potential exposure to COVID-19.
Some initial ideas and issues to consider and discuss within your teams (and potentially other pharmacies in your area) are listed below. How these measures work in your individual pharmacy will depend on you, your team, your location and the pharmacy layout.
- A ‘screening at door’ policy to prevent any patients with cold or flu symptoms from entering the pharmacy e.g. a staff member stationed at the door to ask key questions about symptoms prior to anyone entering the pharmacy
- Large prominent signage (see poster already provided)
- Physical barrier such as a rope or counter across the door with a staff member permitting entry of asymptomatic patients
- Consider what alternative arrangements might work in your pharmacy for those who are unable to enter such as phoning instead, providing (contactless) delivery options, and making payments via online banking
These ideas will not work for all pharmacies. This situation is fast-moving and there is a need to keep the professional conversation going. We welcome further ideas from everyone about how, as a profession, we can support each other to keep ourselves and our patients safe.
To facilitate sharing we will endeavour to collate anything that comes through and provide further updates in the coming days.