Before the COVID-19 pandemic, one would not have given a second thought to the process of filling a prescription. All that it required was to notify the drugstore of your request, allow them the time to prepare the medication, then simply pick it up at a time that suited your schedule.
Today, there are new necessary precautions in place just to secure an ordinary prescription refill, with pharmacies providing various guidelines, restrictions, and recommendations.
Andrew Gyorda, a reputable pharmacist and the proprietor of Hollis Pharmacy in New Hampshire, shares a few vital steps that will allow you to safely pick up your prescribed medication.
Calling Ahead of Time
Pharmacies are doing their best to prevent patients from making unnecessary trips to their establishments, Mr. Gyorda states. One way for patients to achieve this during prescription fill-ups and general visits is by calling ahead to verify that the medicine is ready to go. This will eliminate any uncertainty, give you the peace of mind knowing that your medication is prepared, while also reducing your exposure to public places, where the coronavirus is often transmitted from person to person.
Assistance for the Elderly and Struggling
Those who are over the age of 65 are advised to ask someone, whether it is a friend or relative, to pick up their prescription from a pharmacy, according to Andrew Gyorda. This demographic is particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus, therefore it is critical that they remain home and send someone to the pharmacy on their behalf if they are able to do so.
Similar recommendations apply to anyone with the following conditions: chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, a compromised immune system (possibly stemming from cancer treatment, HIV or extended use of corticosteroids), a serious heart condition, and any underlying medical conditions that are not well controlled (diabetes, liver disease, or renal disease, for example).
Drive-Through and Curbside Options
Numerous pharmacies are offering a drive-in solution for prescription needs, Mr. Gyorda notes, a useful route that will limit a patient’s contact with other consumers and the establishment’s personnel. After calling in and confirming your prescription, you can head to the pharmacy and receive it from the comfort of your car. Hollis Pharmacy provides rapid curbside prescription pickup outside the pharmacy building, guaranteeing a stress-free, hands-off answer to your prescription predicament. Call the pharmacy upon arrival and a staff member will bring your medications to you in your vehicle.
Clearly, there will be moments when you must step foot in the pharmacy for your medicine, but you can still comply with standard safety measures and reduce your likelihood of contracting COVID-19.
Again, calling ahead is a sound decision, because you can determine the hours of operation and what the current volume of people is within the building. Hours of operation can be modified for a variety of reasons nowadays and, anyhow, it is best to call for all relevant updates relating to the pandemic procedures.
Should your pharmacy offer a pre-pay option for the medicine, take advantage of it to minimize contact with others and pick up all of your prescriptions in one trip, which will save you time and aggravation? Andrew Gyorda’s pharmacy, Hollis Pharmacy, securely processes credit card charges via the telephone.
Once you enter the pharmacy, be mindful to stay six feet apart from consumers and staff members. Social distancing is of paramount importance in containing the spread of COVID-19, as people can be unknowingly infected, and transfer the virus via cough or sneeze. Symptoms are not necessarily distinguishable for every person, making it absolutely crucial that patients are aware of the social distancing requirements and obey them to protect the welfare of all individuals.
Check the Technology
Although a phone call might not always get you through to the significant information that you are seeking, many pharmacies possess the technological tools that can be helpful through alternative methods. Text messaging and automated phone systems provide key alerts, as well as the means to check the status of your medication refills. Many pharmacies, including Hollis Pharmacy, are developing their websites to provide broader services that have until now been carried out in person or via telephone. Modern pharmacies are working tirelessly to reduce your number of visits and minimize contact with others.
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