Background: The World Health Organisation sent a clear message to the world, to 'test, test, and test' for early identification, isolation, and limiting the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Dismal testing rates have been the biggest barrier to understanding the spread of this disease. Community pharmacists and pharmacies provide an accessible and reliable avenue to increase testing rates. Purpose(s): To identify opportunities and barriers to implementing COVID-19 testing in community pharmacies. Method(s): Review of worldwide literature from 2019 and onwards was completed to review guidance documents and expert opinions on COVID-19 testing by community pharmacists. Result(s): So far, only 32 states in the USA have provided community pharmacists with the independent ability to order and administer COVID-19 tests in community pharmacies. Opportunities are: fast and reliable access to testing;improved testing rate, data collection, and patient-pharmacists relationships;provide personalised follow-ups and new services;and leverage opportunity for future government collaboration. Barriers are: government buy-in, regulations and bylaw compliance, training, personal protective equipment, staffing needs, workflow optimisation, processes for collaboration with public health authorities, and pharmacists' willingness. Conclusion(s): COVID-19 testing in community pharmacies can improve testing rates, and provide new avenues to collaborate on public health initiatives. There is a scarcity of evidence and literature around this topic and future work should explore success of testing in community pharmacies, and pharmacists and public perceptions of provision of such services in community pharmacy setting.
Background: From December 2019, the healthcare system as we know it changed, as the WHO declared a worldwide COVID-19 outbreak. Purpose(s): Evidenced-based review of pharmacy emergency major incident plan, alongside internationally recognised policies, with government updates (Ministry of Public Health;2019;ASHP, 2020;GPhC, 2020;Ministry of Public Health;2020);RPS, 2020). Method(s): Pharmacy leadership identified staff who could work remotely, split shifts;receive cross training. The clinical team worked closely with the infectious disease/antimicrobial stewardship team towards devising a clinical plan to manage those under our care. Result(s): Service changes included: team members resorted to online or telephone discussions;verification of medication orders took place from home;activation of automation systems;changes to the pharmacy homecare service;communication moved to digital virtual platforms;measures such as the addition of floor markings and medication deliveries to clinics were implemented. Patient education leaflets and social media platforms were utilised to inform patients. Introduction of a drive-through pharmacy collection service, home delivery services, online medication request services, along with expansion of the telephone request infrastructure. Tailored 'ABC' analysis were performed to identify 'valuable' medicine. Non-formulary stocks were distributed to all patients, to prevent any panic or assumption about shortage. All 2021 medication supply plan was booked with manufacturers. The Pharmacy Director was able to create new 'just-in time' delivery channels. Conclusion(s): It is important to reach out to approved evidenced-based guidance, and services must change in order to maintain high level patient care within a crisis. The question now arises-iIs there a need for further improvement?'.