Staff Training on COVID-19
Ask your staff to complete the COVID-19 Infection Control training, provided by the government: https://COVID-19training.gov.au/. It does not take long and will help staff to handle questions from patients. Also encourage staff who are sick to stay at home.
Promote good cough etiquette and respiratory hygiene
Good respiratory hygiene prevents the spread of COVID-19. Keep distance where possible with people who have cold or flu-like symptoms, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing (e.g. into elbow), dispose of used tissues, and clean your hands afterwards.
Promote regular and thorough hand-hygiene by staff and patients
Hand hygiene kills the virus on hands and prevents the spread of COVID-19. Hand Hygiene can be done using soap and water or a waterless alcohol hand rub/foam for at least 20 seconds.
Surgical masks can be used by health professionals if you are in contact with symptomatic patients. P2/N95 respirators provide additional protection against large droplets. These are recommended for health professionals who are conducting procedures that generate aerosols and are not recommended for general practice or community pharmacy at this time.
Regular environmental cleaning in the pharmacy is important for reducing the risk of transmission of pathogenic organisms, it is particularly important in containing the risk of spread of COVID-19. Contamination on surfaces touched by staff and patients is one of the main ways that COVID-19 spreads.
Pharmacy staff can ensure that the pharmacy is clean and hygienic by cleaning surfaces using a detergent and disinfectant. This can be either by a 2-step cleaning/disinfecting process or using a product that combines both steps.
At the front door: Make sure you have signage up at the entry into your pharmacy, asking people to self-identify as ‘at risk’ of COVID-19 to highlight this to the staff immediately. Signage is available through Instigo or the Pharmacy Guild.
Generally: Display signage/posters in the Pharmacy to encourage patients to practice hand hygiene, cough etiquette and respiratory hygiene whilst in the Pharmacy and generally in the community
Set up a place to isolate suspected patients
Prepare signage for the room/area such as “DO NOT ENTER unless authorised and wearing personal protective equipment” for use as necessary.
Workflow and social distancing
- Encourage patients to come back to collect medication rather than waiting.
- Make extra space around counters to allow for social distancing, and try to keep counters in between staff and customers where possible
- Use social distancing of 1.5m
- Encourage contactless card transactions rather than cash
- Stamp instead of signing prescriptions, if you have the ability
Maximum Patient Numbers in The Pharmacy
Ensure there is no more than one person per 4m2 area in your pharmacy. You may need to enforce patient limits on how many can enter at one time.
If you would like assistance to stay on top of these changes and wish to have a confidential discussion about your Pharmacy give us a call on: 02 9248 2600