CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

POLICY AND PROCEDURES

Policy: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it is critical that measures be taken to promote the safety of patients and ensure the safety of pharmacy staff. Measures must be taken in order to offer pharmacy services to patients and to assure the pharmacy is operating at full capacity. The following procedures, including waivers of BPC 4071.1(a), are to be taken into consideration.

Procedure: Effective immediately the pharmacy will be taking the following precautionary measures to ensure the health and safety of our patients and staff. This emergency policy and procedure will be in effect until it is deemed safe to resume normal operating procedures. Termination will be at the discretion of each pharmacy owner, PIC and pharmacy staff.

GENERAL PROCEDURES

  1. The pharmacy is will/ will not maintain normal operating hours.
  2. Until further notice, the pharmacy will no longer be open for walk-ins. Instead, curbside pick up procedures will be enforced at the pharmacy at designated times each day.
  3. The pharmacy will conduct RX consultations via phone calls.
  4. Free delivery will still be offered and encouraged. It is to be discussed with patients to plan ahead and be patient. Due to the high demand, longer than usual wait times are expected. Patients are to contact the pharmacy ahead of time to set this service up.
  5. We will no longer require signatures upon curbside pick-up or delivery.

1.     The pharmacy will be required to make a notation on the hard copy prescription or an electronic annotation tied to the prescription fill stating the reason for unavailability of signature.

2.     For delivered prescriptions, documentation must contain the patient name, prescription number and date of service or delivery.

  1. Full copayment is still to be collected from patients. The Copayment is not changed or waived unless required by law.

1.     Hardship waivers are to be provided, if necessary.

  1. We will automatically refill all medications that are available to be refilled in order to avoid multiple trips to the pharmacy or deliveries. It is in the patient’s best interest to make sure they have all the medications they need.

CURB-SIDE PICKUP PROCEDURES

  1. Designated pick up times;

1.     Monday - Friday _____ AM -______ PM and ______PM - _______PM

2.     Patients will be asked to call the pharmacy ahead of time and when you arrive, we will come outside to deliver your medication.

  1. Patients are to be encouraged to ask for all medications to be refilled at once so they do not have to return to the pharmacy multiple times, unless absolutely necessary.

DELIVERY PROCEDURES

  1. The pharmacy will call the patient ahead of each delivery. Contact information will be confirmed ahead of time.
  2. The medication will be delivered to the patients front door, waiving the signature as discussed in the general procedures.
  3. Patients will be called or sent a text message upon completion of delivery so the patient can retrieve his/her medication.
  4. If the patient has any questions or concerns, he/she is to contact the pharmacy via phone or text message.

*Waiver of Remote Processing Provisions in Business and Professions Code Section 4071.1(a) in Response to COVID-19

At the discretion and authorization of the pharmacy, pharmacists are permitted to conduct remote processing as permitted by this waiver. “Remote processing” is defined as entering of an order or prescription into a computer from outside of the pharmacy or hospital for a licensed pharmacy as defined in Business and Professions Code (BPC) sections 4029 and 4037. The pharmacy and its pharmacists are to be in compliance with the following:

1.     The pharmacist must be a California-licensed pharmacist who either processes medication orders or prescriptions from a remote site or on the premises of a California-licensed pharmacy

2.      A California-licensed pharmacy may allow staff to engage in remote processing for the following functions:

·       receive, interpret, evaluate, clarify, and approve medication orders and prescriptions, including medication orders and prescriptions

·       order entry, other data entry, performing prospective drug utilization review, interpreting clinical data, insurance processing, performing therapeutic interventions, providing drug information services, and authorizing release of medication for administration

·       The waiver does not include the dispensing of a drug or final product verification by remote processing

3.     Confidentiality and integrity of patient information is to be protected at all times. The printing or storage of protected health information on a device that is outside of the licensed pharmacy is strictly prohibited. When processing remotely, the pharmacist is to log into the pharmacy computer virtually and have only remote access to patient information and processing software. No direct connection or removal of pharmacy equipment is allowed, and processing must take place in the pharmacy only.

4.     If remote processing is utilized, all pharmacists providing such services must be trained on these policies and procedures.

5.     The pharmacy must ensure that any pharmacist performing remote processing shall have secure electronic access to the pharmacy's patient information system and to other electronic systems that an on-site pharmacist has access to.

6.     Each remote entry record must comply with all record keeping requirements for pharmacies, including capturing the positive identification of the pharmacist involved in the remote review and verification of a medication order or prescription

7.     A pharmacy utilizing remote processing is responsible for maintaining records of all medication orders and prescriptions entered into the pharmacy’s information system.

* These policies have been developed in response to direct correspondence from the California State Board of Pharmacy titled “Pharmacy Law Waivers Authorized Pursuant to BPC Section 4062.

*Waiver of Staffing Ratio Provisions of Business and Professions Code (BPC) Sections 4115(f)(1) and 4127.15(c)(2); and Title 16, California Code of Regulations, Section 1793.7, in Response to COVID-19

The ratio of pharmacists to pharmacy technicians may increase to allow for one additional pharmacy technician for each supervising pharmacist under the following conditions:

1.     The pharmacy documents the need for the ratio modification due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Examples of documentation may include but are not limited to, an increased prescription volume, limitation on staff availability because of quarantine.

2.     The supervising pharmacists, exercising their professional judgment, may refuse to supervise the additional pharmacy technician and provide the pharmacist-in-charge of their determination. When making such a determination, the supervising pharmacist must specify the circumstances of concern with respect to the pharmacy and patient care implications. Under such circumstances, the ratio may not increase.

*These policies have been developed in response to direct correspondence from the California State Board of Pharmacy titled ”Waiver of Staffing Ratio Provisions.”

I hereby acknowledge and declare under the penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that I have read and understand all the foregoing.

Pharmacy Personnel

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