Coronavirus outbreak – check list

Objava PGEU-a od 16. ožujka 2020.

  1. What community pharmacists can do to support their patients, protect their staff and relieve pressure on the rest of the health care system:

Protecting staff

  • Regulate the flow of patients and limit the number of patients within the pharmacy at the same time
  • Keep 1-meter minimum distance between patients (put appropriate signs “keep the distance” to inform patients)
  • Keep 1-meter minimum distance between the patient and the pharmacist for example widening the sales table)
  • Keep 1-meter minimum distance between pharmacy staff
  • Provide visitors with the opportunity to disinfect hands when entering and leaving the pharmacy
  • If necessary, adopt the delivery protection facilities used during night shifts to avoid contacts with possible infected patients
  • Recommend symptomatic/(possibly) infected patients not to visit the pharmacy but rather send someone else to collect the medicines or call the pharmacy to discuss options such as home delivery
  • Wear personal protective equipment where available such as aprons, gloves and face masks. In some countries, protective screens are placed on the pharmacy counter
  • Keep circulation from sales to back-office and vice versa as low as possible
  • Introduce regular hands disinfection for staff
  • Provide adequate training
  • Closely monitor the health status of staff with special attention to COVID-19 infection symptoms
  • Ensure adequate cleaning and disinfection of all surfaces
  • Strengthen medical waste management

Ensuring stocks

  • Designate a pharmacist to manage the procurement and distribution of key medicines (e.g. antiviral, antipyretics and analgesics, corticosteroids etc.)
  • Do not support patients trying to stockpile as this may worsen the problem of shortages

Identifying, managing and reporting of suspected cases of COVID-19

  • Identify potential cases as soon as possible
  • Isolate the patient, obtain specialist advice to determine if the patient is at risk of COVID-19
  • Avoid direct physical contact, including physical examination, and exposures to respiratory secretions
  • Prevent potential transmission of infection to other patients and staff
  • Follow national authorities’ protocols in case you have reasons to believe that the patient might be affected by COVID-19
  • Once the suspected case has been transferred to a healthcare facility, the room in which the patient has been isolated and any potentially contaminated areas such as toilets should be cleaned/decontaminated using appropriate products and procedures.

Manufacturing disinfectants and sanitizers

Home delivery

  • Arrange home delivery for patients who cannot reach the pharmacy

Informing patients

  • Make sure patient information posters are displayed so they can be seen before patients enter the pharmacy premises.
  • Direct patients to reliable public sources of information (ministry of health and other national health authorities)

Planning business continuity

  • Put in place a business continuity plans and identify specific roles and actions which could support managing local demand ensuring you work in collaboration with neighbouring pharmacies, local practices and the wider local multidisciplinary team
  • When possible and applicable, divide the staff in fixed work teams to guarantee less people are exposed in case the virus reaches a member of the team
  • Address possible staff shortages involving pharmacy students and arranging for voluntary staff exchange between pharmacies