Natalie Holt, MD
Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the Great Plains Area Indian Health Service
Ambulatory Care Surveyor, The Joint Commission
Dr. Natalie Holt discusses changes to their pharmacy department operations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
New pharmacy workflow
“I went to our Pharmacy Department, spoke to the Supervisor, and said that I wanted to initiate a drive-up pharmacy service to avoid patients having to come into the facility to pick up medications. Without further direction, the Pharmacy Department implemented a plan to have medication refills delivered to patients’ vehicles in the parking lot. This led me to discover two things. First, as soon as the drive-thru opened, the hospital waiting area became a ghost town. I didn’t realize how much foot traffic through the facility was due to the outpatient pharmacy. Second, at the drive-thru, the cars were 5 deep the entire day. I was shocked to see how many prescriptions our Pharmacy staff filled in a day! I was so impressed at how quickly the Pharmacy Department developed a new workflow with almost no guidance from me or anyone else.”
“Keeping the lines of communication open has been essential. We run public service announcements on the radio to inform the community of all the changes we have made and are continuing to make at the hospital and in our clinics. Internally, we have staff meetings via Skype at least 2 or 3 times a week. I also feel it’s very important to just walk around the facility. I always get a different perspective when I visit the frontline staff. I believe it is very important to make sure every single person feels like they are being heard, because we need everyone giving it their all in order to get through this.”