If you are a pharmacy owner or manager, chances are good that the safety and security of your operation are uppermost in your mind. In fact, these are a couple of things that probably affect nearly every other aspect of your pharmacy design and operation. It’s for these reasons that if you are planning to remodel your store while continuing and improving the safety measures you already have are in your plans. What follows are four additional safety measures that should be seriously considered.
Besides customers and employees, you need to also consider the safety and security of your inventory in both the back storage area as well as in the merchandising area. This is where not only pharmacy design but specialized products such as Medication Carousel, cameras, and other fixtures come into play.
Ways to Improve Pharmacy Safety and Security
The security of a pharmacy’s physical environment is the first place owners and managers can begin their quest for safer and more secure storage. A few other basics might include the following:
- Motion detectors, cameras, and other alarms can be installed to notify the authorities as well as owners and managers of a pharmacy of a break-in or other intrusion. Another good addition is panic buttons that allow employees to notify the authorities if there is a robbery during store hours. Bells and chimes can also be installed to notify employees when a customer enters a door. Alarms can also be used to notify employees when customers reach high-risk areas such as checkout counters, prescription counters, dispensing areas, and lockout areas where controlled substances are kept.
- The safety and security of customers should also be a primary concern when remodeling your pharmacy. This extends to making sure shelves and other store fixtures are well made and anchored firmly to the floor and that products are within easy reach. There should also be plenty of room between aisles for the unobstructed passage for customers, even those in wheelchairs.
- The process of safety and security should also encompass the dispensing of medications. This applies not only to the automated dispensing equipment but for systems that protect medications before they get to customers. Vertical medical carousels help to keep drugs out of customer’s hands and make finding them to fulfill orders easier, while software systems help to make sure the customers receive the correct prescriptions. These also help with the receipt and safe storage of medications.
- Further technologies can be implemented that better manage issues such as e-prescribing and incorporation of electronic health records (EHRs). These also better track drugs, especially Schedule I and II controlled substances. There also must be implementation of safe ways to dispose of medication.
The factors that influence the safety and security of a pharmacy are practically infinite. Only a very few of them have been touched on here. As practically everybody knows, or can quickly figure out, there is almost no end to the methods a criminal mind can implement to get drugs, and for this reason, managers and owners need to be constantly on the lookout for weaknesses in their systems, regardless of the form they take. The good news is that along with the physical methods outlined above and vigilance on the part of people, it’s much easier to stay one step ahead of the bad guys while at the same time better serving the customer.