Pharmacists are Looking Ahead to Keep Communities Safe

September 30, 2020

Close up of a pharmacist administering a vaccine.

When a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, the demand for patients wanting to receive this vaccination will be extremely high. Many patients will turn to their local pharmacy chains to receive the vaccination, which will place a demand on time and scheduling of pharmacy staff to administer the shots. Chain pharmacies are already extremely busy with traditional fulfillment of prescriptions and have become an increasingly used source for administration of flu vaccinations.

The addition of administering COVID-19 vaccinations will surely add increased burden on already scarce pharmacy staff resources. Additionally, recent expansions in pharmacist approved MTM include providing vaccinations to children, which means more time will need to be allotted for extra paperwork and parent consultation upon administration of the pediatric vaccines as well.

Implement Pharmacy Scheduling Software Now

For many pharmacies, the reality is undoubtedly clear: optimizing your staff will be more important this flu season than ever before. Flu season is a busy time for pharmacies in general, but with the inclusion of COVID-19, it is safe to assume more people will be seeking flu vaccines in addition to getting the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.

The demand for the COVID-19 vaccine is going to be unprecedented, and pharmacies will need to increase clinical staff and shifts to deliver as many vaccines as possible. The adoption of web-based, pharmacy scheduling software can provide a valuable tool to manage this employee shift scheduling more efficiently to streamline pharmacy operations for both vaccine administration and traditional prescription fulfillment.

Pharmacy Scheduling Software Can Help

New roles for registered pharmacists in health care include the ability to administer vaccines. Pharmacist-administered vaccinations have increased 80+% at pharmacies and flu clinics since the beginning of the current pandemic. COVID-19 testing is also being widely performed at pharmacies instead of doctor’s offices largely due to the convenience it provides.

This surge in reliance on community pharmacies has put pressure on pharmacists to perform additional tasks to meet increased demand for patient care services. These convenient healthcare services require pharmacies to rethink their staffing models to ensure adequate staff to balance traditional script filling along with absorbing additional pharmacist tasks like Medication Therapy Management (MTM) and other clinical services.

Pharmacy scheduling software, like Schedule360, offers a streamlined approach to staffing pharmacy employee shifts to better manage public health needs through automated features that are tailored to the management of MTM services as well as normal daily tasks and expectations.

Benefits of Credential Scheduling

Schedule360 helps to ensure that only those with the proper credentials are scheduled into provider slots with scheduling software. This process helps to keep the entire scheduling process simple, saves time, and lessens the stress put on managers who create the schedule. With less mental load and time devoted to creating schedules, your pharmacy managers will have more time to spend on MTM tasks including the administration of flu vaccines this year.

Transparent Pharmacy Tech Scheduling

With Schedule360, you can leverage transparent, easy-to-read reporting that includes weekly employee target hours. This provides transparency for pharmacy managers when viewing the schedule and filling in gaps to accommodate the high volume of pharmacy administered flu vaccinations based on proactive forecasting to meet the demand. They are able to quickly see which pharmacy techs are meeting their target hours and can fill remaining open shifts with tech staff who still need more hours before considering and approving overtime for those who have already worked enough for the current pay period.

Schedule Float Staff Easily

Pharmacies who implement Schedule360 quickly realize how under-utilized their float staff was before. It’s not a surprise to learn this is a common occurrence when you look at the coordination required to schedule floats. It’s not easy to optimize a staff with schedules that constantly change. This will become more of a challenge to manage with the projected amount of flu vaccinations pharmacies will be providing. Pharmacy scheduling software utilizes real-time tracking with color coding to record every hour worked, and that transparency has been a game-changer for pharmacies nationwide.

Last Minute Shift Scheduling

The stress from having to fill urgent, last-minute shift openings can be reduced by setting guidelines within your team. You can then communicate any urgent scheduling needs with your staff 12, 24, or 48 hours in advance through the internal messaging platform complete with time-stamped features.

Internal Messaging

Messaging capabilities are critical, and with Schedule360 you’ll be able to contact staff by text, email, and the internal message board. Features include the ability to segment staff to only send messages to those relevant to the task at hand, for example: all staff, those who are currently working, or those who aren’t scheduled whose credentials match an urgent shift that needs filled. This eliminates all staff receiving all messages, which can inadvertently lead to miscommunications and missed messages due to over-messaging.

Why Choose Schedule360

In order to keep up with future demands, pharmacists will require new tools to reduce the administrative burden while still providing the highest level of care to patients from daily script fillings to upcoming MTM and clinical needs. You might be surprised to learn how customizable our pharmacy scheduling software is. Contact Schedule360 today for a configured demo of our award-winning scheduling solution. We know scheduling, and we understand what features can make pharmacy scheduling easier.