Remember your last pharmacy visit pre-COVID19? Long lines, frustrating waits, and crowded stores. Seems like decades ago right?
And if you’re like me, going to a place where there are other sick patients might not sound like the greatest idea during a global pandemic. You’re not alone. Recent polls show most Americans aren’t comfortable going out to public places (like pharmacies) even after the country “reopens” until there is a vaccine available. Like telemedicine, drive-thru COVID19 testing and the new transition to working from home, pharmacies post-COVID19 will probably operate differently.
Below are 5 ways that your pharmacy experience will change post COVID-19.
1. Welcome to Telepharmacy!
Telepharmacy has been on the fringes for a few decades but that’s about to change. Telepharmacy uses the latest technology to help patients communicate with pharmacists and get their meds without having to leave their couch. Starting a new prescription? Why not set up a video call with your pharmacist. Text or WhatsApp could work too? You’ll be able to even provide insurance information virtually.
2. The Pharmacist is here to ‘see you now’
Did you know that in many states, pharmacists can prescribe birth control and other medications? Pharmacists can even administer tests (like COVID19). Given the strain on the medical community, there are calls to allow pharmacists to diagnose & treat patients similar to how nurse practitioners and physician assistants do today!
3. Delivery of BOTH your prescription medicine and over-the-counter medicine
COVD19 helped to further mobilize the delivery industry. Amazon was already impacting in-person consumer shopping, but now with COVID19, this trend will be much more widespread. Post-COVD19 most patients will opt to get all of their meds delivered & shipped to them directly. It prevents further opportunity to get sick from others saves time and money!
4. Medication Safety will get better
With advances in robotics and technology, most patients will get their medications filled by advanced computers which can help to prevent errors. Studies show that over 200 million medications are incorrectly filled per year! With better surveillance and technology, this will probably improve.
5. Barriers between you and the pharmacist: Plexiglass
If you still need to go to the pharmacy for some reason, expect to see plexiglass. It’s here to stay. Plexiglass provides a protective shield to protect both the pharmacist and patients. I’ve often had patients cough on me, get too close and I ended up catching what they had! With barriers like plexiglass, the rates of spreading infection will likely decrease.
There you have it. The 5 ways your pharmacy experience will change.