Madigan Pharmacy piloting ‘Drop-off & Return’

Process will be similar to a civilian pharmacy experience

By Joseph Jones, Madigan Army Medical Center on October 10, 2021

MADIGAN ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Joint Base Lewis-McChord - Around the world, pharmacies have developed strategies to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Military Health System (MHS) is no different in that respect. MHS Pharmacies have been playing a vital role in readiness, prevention, providing access to medications and improving health outcomes for service members, their families and retirees during this pandemic. The Madigan Outpatient Pharmacy at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, which dispenses over 4,000 prescriptions per day to TRICARE beneficiaries, is going even further by piloting a new process, similar to a civilian retail pharmacy experience.

The Madigan Main Outpatient Pharmacy is embarking on transitioning on Oct. 12, 2021 to an innovative "prescription drop-off and return for pick-up" model. "We have listened to our patients concerns and this is the first step of many to reduce the number of our patients in the lobby and their potential risks for infection or unexpected extended wait times," said Maj. Jason Parsons, the deputy chief of the Department of Pharmacy at Madigan Army Medical Center, the U.S. Army's second largest medical treatment facility.

How the new process will work is intuitive and straightforward. Patients will enter the Main Outpatient Pharmacy and have a short conversation with staff at the front desk about the prescribed medication that needs to be filled. Then each patient will be given an approximate time to return to the pharmacy that same day. Patients may return to pick up medications up to seven days later at their convenience. This resolves patients experiencing extended wait times in the pharmacy lobby or being tethered to the hospital for hours if there is a unforeseen or known delay on a day-to-day basis, in real time.

"Our goal is to provide quality care without consuming a significant amount of our patient's valuable time," said Maj. Kenesha Pace the chief of the Department of Pharmacy at Madigan Army Medical Center. "This will give our patients the flexibility and convenience to get the medications they need, and improve our operations to truly provide patient-centered care, with compassion."