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Pharmacies - COVID-19 Checklist

COVID-19 Checklist for Pharmacies

Top Things Things You Can Do to Prepare for COVID-19

Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, strongly recommends that all pharmacies immediately take the following actions:

  • Use calming and reassuring language when patients ask for information.
  • Have a fact sheet available to answer questions from patients on prescription refills, emergency supplies, payer coverage of medications, and other Rx-related information.
  • Encourage people to buy cold medicines now, so they will not have to go out if they develop COVID-19.
  • Offer separate operating hours for older adults and other vulnerable populations. 

  • Establish a process for older adults, pregnant women, and individuals with chronic health conditions to pick up medications without waiting in line.
  • Report unusual patient complaints, surges in symptoms of fever, cough, or respiratory distress, or surges in sales volumes of cold and flu medications, over-the-counter pain killers, or hand sanitizer.
  • Use infection control procedures:

    • Make sure staff and customers maintain a distance of 6 feet from one another. Use signage, floor tape, or some other means to designate 6-foot spacing for employees and customers in line.
    • Regularly clean and disinfect counters, waiting areas, and other regularly touched objects or frequented spaces. Use an EPA-approved disinfectant.
    • Make alcohol-based hand sanitizer available for customers and employees, especially next to the checkout window so people can sanitize their hands after using common items, like the pen used to sign for prescriptions.
  • Monitor all staff for sickness regularly and have them stay home or send them home if they have signs of respiratory infection. Take temperatures once per shift, or have employees take their temperatures before reporting to work.
  • Update sick leave policies to place employees on sick leave if a family member is sick and to develop a post-illness return-to-work procedure.
  • Provide recommended actions for unprotected exposures (e.g., not using recommended personal protective equipment, an unrecognized infectious patient contact).
  • Attempt to preserve personal protective equipment when possible due to severe shortages. If you have surplus supplies to share, please contact together@governor.ohio.gov or your local Emergency Management Agency.
  • Know your active standing orders, collaborative practice agreements, and memorandums of understanding. Know the most up to date timelines on when you may be receiving certain capabilities or products (vaccines, therapeutics, testing).
  • Learn and follow the new State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy rule on dispensing chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19. Details and links can be found here. The purpose of the rule is to ensure that patients who have conditions such as malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, and do not experience shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Be aware that third party administrators, including Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs), are required to suspend pharmacy audits during the state of emergency. This ensures that pharmacies can focus their resources on helping during this crisis as opposed to spending time on the paperwork associated with these types of audits. For more information, see https://iop-odi-content.s3.amazonaws.com/static/Legal/Bulletins/Documents/2020-04.pdf.

For answers to your COVID-19 questions, call 1-833-4ASKODH (1-833-427-5634).

Additional resources:

WSPA Guidance to Pharmacy Practitioners for Safe Practice During COVID-19 Outbreak: https://www.wsparx.org/news/492218/WSPA-Guidance-to-Pharmacy-Practitioners-for-Safe-Practice-During-COVID- 19-Outbreak.htm

Ohio Revised Code, pharmacists; dangerous drugs: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/4729. Regarding the Use of Protocols to Initiate or Adjust Medications: 
https://www.pharmacy.ohio.gov/Documents/Pubs/Special/Protocols/Joint%20Regulatory%20Statement%20-%20 Use%20of%20Protocols%20to%20Initiate%20or%20Adjust%20Medications.pdf. https://pharmacy.ohio.gov/Documents/Pubs/Special/Consult/Pharmacist%20Consult%20Agreement%20with%20 Physicians.pdf

Pharmacist Consult Agreements with Physicians: https://www.ashp.org/Pharmacy-Practice/Resource-Centers/ Coronavirus/Sample-List

Coronavirus Disease 2019 Hospital Preparedness Tool: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/ hospital-preparedness-checklist.pdf

Sample List of Potential Pharmacy Public Health Roles at the Local or State Levels: https://www.ashp.org/Pharmacy-Practice/Resource-Centers/Coronavirus/Sample-List

Prevention Info-graphic

  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals
  • Wash hands often with water and soap (20 seconds or longer)
  • Dry hands with a clean towel or air dry your hands
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands or after touching surfaces
  • Clean and disinfect "High-Touch" surfaces often
  • Call before visiting your doctor
  • Practice good hygiene habits 

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