As of September 2020, there are over 33.7 million cases COVID-19 worldwide, according to Worldometer. The US accounts for 20% of all cases.
One thing is clear: the 2020 school year will not be the same. Many school systems have opted for virtual or remote schooling, while still others are offering in-person classes or hybrid options.
As a new school year begins, your pharmacy can continue to support patients and their families by keeping them stocked with crucial back-to-school supplies and services.
Pandemic or no, make sure your pharmacy is ready to supply your community’s regular back-to-school medical needs. Let patients know you can provide necessities like vaccinations or lice treatment products. You’ll also want to remind them about refilling their children’s medications like inhalers, epi-pens, and allergy medications.
And remember, with fall comes flu season. Encourage patients and their kids to get flu shots and check with schools in your area to see if they require other specific vaccinations this year.
Prepping for In-Person and Virtual School During COVID-19
Many patients will be taking extra precautions to ensure their children are safe, whether they’ve chosen in-person school, e-learning, homeschooling, or a combination.
Alongside basic back-to-school healthcare needs, your pharmacy should offer supplies and services that help parents, teachers, and students get through the school day safely.
Some products you may want to stock up on:
- Office and school supplies
- Face coverings and masks of all sizes
- Antibacterial sanitizer, wipes, and cleaning supplies
- Healthy snacks and bottled beverages
- Earbuds and children’s electronics
Educating parents during a difficult time can also help them navigate the transition. The CDC has created back-to-school checklists for parents and professionals, which include:
- Planning for in-person and virtual or at-home learning
- Mask requirements and best practices for teachers and children
- Tips for mental and emotional wellbeing
Keep copies of the checklists in-store for parents or add them as bag stuffers when they come to pick up prescriptions and supplies.
Other Ways Your Pharmacy Can Prepare
Pharmacies around the country have provided frontline services during COVID-19 with socially-distant patient care, safety supplies, and virus screening and testing. With coronavirus case numbers still rising, students and their families in your community need a safe place to get basic medical needs met.
As you plan fall and winter offerings, prioritize the same safety and hygiene protocols in your store that you did in the spring, such as:
- Clear signage to encourage in-store social distancing
- Consistent surface and deep cleaning
- Special shopping hours for high-risk patients
Reduce the stress of an uncertain school year by continuing to offer hands-free care and coronavirus screening. Keep up curbside pickup and free home delivery for prescriptions, custom compounds, and healthcare products.
If you don’t already offer digital prescription refills or secure 2-way messaging, consider adding one or more of these digital offerings to simplify your patients’ experience.
Need help promoting back-to-school products and services this fall?
Digital Pharmacist offers a range of digital engagement and communication tools that have supported thousands of pharmacies during COVID-19. Get in touch with us today to learn more.