As the world around us evolves staff and spatial considerations are changing in just about every sector and industry. One of the most significant changes evolving quickly is how the consumer uses the Pharmacist and the Pharmacy.
New expectations of the Pharmacist are requiring more staff, significant operational changes, and a reallocation of the space within the pharmacy.
As the Pharmacist evolves into more of a clinical role, they also become a free source of information, required in several states by law. They routinely help the consumer with cholesterol, diabetes, and disease states. In a few states, the Pharmacist can also prescribe formulary medications. This is a significant change from the recent past where the Pharmacists primary focus was to manage a pharmacy that filled and distributed prescriptions.
The Pharmacist has become the translator for the use, effects and action of medications and the care of the consumer. They monitor and assess how well the prescribed medications are working and can recommend alternative treatments to the team caring for the patient/consumer.
To help with COVID 19 vaccine distribution nationwide, several pharmacies and Pharmacists have become the vaccinators responsible for administering the vaccine, counseling and follow up. This adds to the current role many provide to administer and promote immunizations for flu and other vaccinations.
Pharmacists are in the process of setting the standard for the safe use of Opioids. Through their stewardship, with a central role in patient and consumer healthcare teams, the Pharmacist is in the best position to provide counseling on reducing risk of overdose, through oversight of dosing and medication abuse. They also have a wealth of knowledge on alternatives to pain management.
The percentage of medications that are being shipped has risen substantially and is typically at least 30% of the pharmacy distribution in some cases 50%. This is a new role for staff and requires a dedicated staging area to process the packing and shipping. Some pharmacies are seeing an increase in drive-thru, less so in shipping.
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