No industry was spared from COVID-19, including the veterinarian space. As ongoing efforts work to limit foot traffic in the clinic, there are measures that can be put in place for patients and caretakers. Initiatives include outside drop off, parking lot pre-screenings, and virtual appointments – but veterinary staff still have to come in each day to do that work – and keep each other safe while doing so. For many clinics, these measures are still in place, and will be for months to come, requiring new policies and efficiencies to keep staff and customers healthy.
Pharmacy automation is one key variable that is often overlooked by decision leaders but can be vital in moving forward. Through the use of low-profile technologies that require minimal floor space, clinics can implement technology that performs the redundant work of counting and packaging pills for them. Thus, reducing the need for technicians to gather in the back room filling prescriptions. Doing so creates an opportunity for reduced shoulder to shoulder work, making clearance for safe social distancing in this area.
Additionally, as clinics begin to return to some degree of normalcy, any space taken up for pharmacy practices cuts into space utilized for waiting areas and clinic rooms. Through quicker medication counting and filling using automation, customers can be in and out of the clinic faster and safer, also allowing for more social distancing in areas of the clinic and eliminating the possibility for any waiting room tiffs. Unlike a normal visit to the doctor or pharmacy, the “patient” can’t do this alone – there will always be two “bodies” in the waiting room, screening rooms, check-out lines, so increasing efficiencies to get customers in and out is key.