SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. --
The 20th Medical Group pharmacy launched a curbside prescription pickup service outside the Base Exchange satellite pharmacy, April 27.
To utilize this new service available on Mondays from 8 a.m to 5 p.m., prescriptions must be submitted by noon on Thursday.
The 20th MDG activated curbside pickup to serve customers while observing social distancing measures.
Shaw’s pharmacy is utilized by the Sumter military retiree community, which accounts for approximately 70 percent of all prescriptions filled at Shaw.
Maj. Christopher Dykes, 20th MDG diagnostics and therapeutic flight commander and pharmacist, explained that an average 24-hour retail pharmacy fills between 600 to 700 prescriptions daily. By comparison, Shaw’s satellite pharmacy easily fills more than a thousand prescriptions daily.
To achieve the amount of prescriptions filled, the pharmacy technicians set up a “drive-thru” in the Base Exchange parking lot. As cars drive through a marked off pathway, drivers stop at manned waypoints where technicians radio the BX satellite pharmacy to confirm the prescriptions are ready for pick up. By the time drivers pull up to the final waypoint, a technician walks out to the customer with their prescription.
It is estimated the new curbside service will distribute up to five days’ worth of prescriptions during an eight-hour period. Dykes expects to see the base dispense 5,000 prescriptions, to about 1,300 customers, in one day.
Staff. Sgt Logan Kragt, 20th MDG noncommissioned officer in charge of pharmacy services said that so far, the response has been positive and that everyone who works at the pharmacy is happy they are able to return to supporting those who rely on their services.
“It’s easy to be frustrated with the pharmacy when you’ve been poked and prodded all day at the doctors and we are the last stop preventing you from going home,” said Kragt speaking about potential increased wait times. “My overall hope is people will be able to continue to use our service, keep their co-pays to a minimum and not have to spend money on medications that they don’t need to.”
He emphasized that the process is in continuous review for improvement and spoke to the pharmacy’s commitment to providing prescriptions to those who need them during these strained times.
“These days are all hands on deck,” Dykes said. “We have a clinic pharmacy which is open and takes care of our active-duty population and their dependents. This is our one day to take care of as many retirees as we can and support the community.”