Curbside pick-up and shipping to meet patient demand
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way businesses operate. Daily practices must comply with local ordinances and protect customers from COVID-19. As businesses closed their doors to customers, there is a growing need to adapt through additional services. Pharmacies utilizing curbside pick-up and delivery services during this time can continue serving their patients while protecting their employees and business.
Importance of Curbside Pickup and Delivery During COVID-19
Protecting Patient Health
Patients who are sick or contagious do not need to interact with others in person. Pharmacies can help protect the health of their customers during this time by offering delivery services. Multiple state boards of pharmacy have waived signature requirements to confirm receipt of medication. While the rules differ by state, it may be possible to confirm receipt of medication through a phone call, email, or text. In these states, pharmacies with touchless payment options such as card-on-file can deliver medication or offer curbside pickup with an entirely contactless process.
More than a million American have contracted the coronavirus and countless more many potential be asymptomatic carriers. Pharmacies that operate through curbside pickup or delivery services can help their staff stay employed during this time. Without customers in the store, employees can maintain social distancing as they carry out their daily tasks.
Maintaining Social Distancing
Most states issued stay-at-home orders, preventing people from gathering. Social distancing protects high-risk individuals, including those with heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes. The White House has urged Americans to stay home as much as possible and avoid groups of 10 or more people during this time. As areas start to reopen, citizens are urged to maintain distance between themselves and other people.
Pharmacies can enable social distancing for both their customers and employees by incorporating curbside pickup and delivery services that allow for touchless payments providing minimal to contactless service. These practices remove the need for customers to enter the store, potentially spreading germs to employees or other customers. Many pharmacies and other businesses have adopted practices such as using baskets or grabbers to maintain some distance during curbside or drive-through transactions.
Curbside Pickup and Delivery After COVID-19
COVID-19 is likely to change business practices even now after the worst of the pandemic may be over. Pharmacies who implement curbside pickup and delivery services during this time may find long-lasting benefits after the coronavirus.
While some pharmacies offered drive-through services before COVID-19, many independent pharmacies are just dipping their toes in the water with curbside pickup. Allowing customers, especially those who are sick, to remain in their vehicle when picking up medicine is a convenient service for pharmacies. It also helps prevent the spread of illnesses outside of the coronavirus.
Delivery services add another level of convenience, especially for home-bound patients. Instead of relying on a caregiver to pick up medication, patients can have their prescriptions delivered to their door. This service can be beneficial in both rural and urban areas, and the added convenience can potentially improve medication adherence. Curbside pickup and delivery services enable pharmacies to cater to a wider range of customers. By offering multiple transaction methods, customers can choose the option that works best for them.
Tips for Setting Up Curbside Pickup Services
If a pharmacy has never offered curbside pickup in the past, implementing the service takes some planning. The following tips can help independent pharmacies set up curbside pickup at their store to continue serving patients during COVID-19.
- Carefully review the COVID-19 guidelines for your state to ensure you are in compliance with local government rules and regulations.
- Consider the scheduling of your employees. Are your hours changing? How many employees can work in the store while maintaining social distancing practices?
- Determine your workflow for picking orders, assembling items, and running orders to customers.
- Designate spots outside for curbside pickup orders to maintain a flow of traffic.
- Communicate with patients about your curbside pickup process. Remind customers to stay in their vehicle instead of trying to enter the store. Use signage to make it clear where customers should wait for their order.
- Set up a communication channel to alert customers when their order is ready for pickup. Also consider how customers will alert you that they have arrived.
- Utilize contactless payment methods to reduce the spread of germs. Refraining from passing credit cards or cash back and forth can keep hands clean. Store cards on file through your POS system for easy payment options.
Pharmacy Solutions for Curbside Pickup and Delivery
Rx30 and Computer-Rx pharmacy management systems both offer features for curbside pickup and delivery services. TDS understands the importance of flexible delivery options to serve patients during a crisis. We provide tools for contactless curbside pickup and delivery services. Learn more at www.rx30.com or www.computer-rx.com.