Keeping Your Customers Safe and Healthy Over the Winter Months
Updated: Jan 12
The Immediate effects of COVID-19 on pharmacies were clear to see, from front doors being shut in some locations to shoppers scrambling for thermometers and hand sanitizer. Now the pandemic is shifting consumer habits in the short term and in some ways that may last longer. While you may be focused on coronavirus testing, vaccination and keeping patients healthy, don’t ignore your pharmacy’s front end. Remember, margins from your store’s front end are about 15% higher than on prescriptions. Here are some actionable steps you can take to help your community and keep your business strong.
Arrange an End Cap of High Demand Items If you are keeping your front-end open during the pandemic, help your customers get in and out quickly by keeping common items used during the pandemic displayed in one place. Ensuring that these items are in stock will help regulate the traffic flow by allowing patients who are not there for prescriptions or screening to easily grab what they need. Make sure that the end cap is clearly marked and help promote these items by asking both drive-thru and delivery customers if they would like to purchase them.
Alternative Remedies (homeopathic items and essential oils)
Masks and Gloves
Household Cleaning Items
Cough Cold and Decongestants
Children’s (Pain Relief, Cold & Flu, Vitamins & Supplements)
Limit Purchases It is still suggested that pharmacies place limits on some items. This will prevent hoarding and ensure items are available when a need arises. For example, if a patient comes in for acetaminophen during an active fever, they can’t wait a day for a reorder. Closely monitor your inventory of these important items.
Become a COVID-19 Vaccination Site If you haven’t done so already, you must register your pharmacy at www.vaccinefinder.org and complete an ACPE-approved practical training program that includes hands-on injection technique; clinical evaluation of indications and contraindications of vaccines; and recognition and treatment of emergency reactions to vaccines with at least 20 hours of this training for the pharmacist. In addition, all vaccinators must have a current certificate in basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation and pharmacists and technicians must complete at least 2 hours of ACPE-approved, immunization-related continuing pharmacy education during each state licensing period.
Offer Free Delivery and/or Curbside Pick-up Many independent pharmacies already offer this service, but during the outbreak it is even more critical to help promote social distancing and keep patients and staff safe.
Hours for Seniors and Immune Compromised Take the lead of many grocery stores and open an hour early so high-risk patients, such as seniors and immune-compromised customers, can shop without as much exposure to others and to lessen their wait time. Encourage them to call ahead so they do not have to wait in store.
Rearrange your Waiting Area Chairs can be placed six feet apart from each other so that appropriate social distancing can occur. You can also place tape on the floor in 6-foot increments so that patients know where to stand to keep a safe distance.