MADIGAN ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. – Around the world, pharmacies have developed strategies to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Military Health System (MHS) is no different in that regard. MHS Pharmacies have played a critical role in preparedness, prevention, access to medicines and improve health outcomes for service workers, their families and retirees during this pandemic. The Madigan Outpatient Clinic at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, which dispenses more than 4,000 prescriptions per day to TRICARE beneficiaries, is taking it further by testing a new process, similar to an experience with a civilian retail pharmacy.
The Madigan Main Outpatient Pharmacy will begin transitioning to an innovative “prescription drop-off and return for pick-up” model on October 12, 2021. “We’ve listened to the concerns of our patients and this is the first step for many to reduce the number of patients in the lobby and their potential risk of infection or unexpectedly extended wait times,” said Major Jason Parsons, Deputy Chief of Pharmacy. at Madigan Army Medical Center, the United States military’s second-largest medical treatment facility.
“Our goal is to provide quality care without consuming a significant portion of our patient’s precious time,” said MAJ Kenesha Pace.
How the new process will work is intuitive and simple. Patients enter the Main Outpatient Clinic and have a short conversation with the staff at the desk about the prescribed medication that needs to be filled. Each patient is then given an estimated time to return to the pharmacy the same day. Patients can come back up to 7 days later to collect medicines at their convenience. This solves patients who have long wait times in the pharmacy lobby or are tied to the hospital for hours if there is an unforeseen or known delay on a daily basis, in real time. “Our goal is to provide quality care without consuming a significant amount of our patient’s precious time,” said MAJ Kenesha Pace, chief of pharmacy at Madigan Army Medical Center. “This gives our patients the flexibility and convenience to get the drugs they need, and enhances our operations to deliver truly patient-centered care, with compassion.”
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