As a pharmacy owner, you only have one chance to give a good first impression. Your independent pharmacy’s aesthetic is often the deciding factor as to whether a customer decides to shop in your store or go somewhere else.
Germs are everywhere, and with all of the people who walk into your pharmacy not feeling well, your store is more susceptible to carrying a collection of unknown viruses. Cleaning and disinfecting is never a fun chore, whether it’s at home or in your pharmacy. However, your independent pharmacy is high on the list of workplaces that need to be clean and hygienic at all times.
So, what is involved in a good housekeeping regime? Here is a list of tasks you and your employees should be doing regularly in your pharmacy:
It may seem tedious, but it’s easy to miss the coating of dust that covers shelves within a night or two. Keep up with dusting in your pharmacy by delegating specific chores to your employees. Have a tech or clerk wipe down shelves while the rest of the team holds down the fort. Dusting your counters and shelves should be done once a week, according to cleaning professionals. Microfiber cloths are best for dusting, as they absorb more than cotton and can hold the dust rather than pushing it into the air.
Do you ever wonder what things live in your pharmacy’s carpet? While your carpet might appear perfectly fine, if you look a little closer, you’ll see a whole other side of it; one that will probably make you cringe. Carpet carries all kinds of germy debris, such as hair, dirt, dust bunnies, and whatever else falls off humans as they move about. Add to that spilled medications, and you’ve got something that needs regular care.
You’ll want a heavy-duty vacuum, not a small one, to give your carpet a good sweep at least once a week. A clean carpet will give you the peace of mind and confidence you’ll need as you go about your day. If you don’t have carpet in your pharmacy, then focus on the hard floors. Be sure they’re swept and mopped regularly so your customers will keep popping in for things they need.
It may be common sense to you to alphabetize your pharmacy’s shelves to make filling a medication easier. But have you thought about how those bottles actually look on a shelf? Take a close look and notice if they’re neatly aligned behind one another or if they’re in random, chaotic order. If what you see is a discombobulated mess, it’s time to start over. Pull out all of the medication bottles and boxes and put those with the soonest expiration dates in the front.
Keeping the array of your medications neat and organized on the shelves is not only pleasing to the eye, but makes medications easier to find. You will also minimize the disposal of expired medications when you put the bottles from the latest shipment to the back and the older bottles in the front.
Sorting Bulk Items
Not all pharmacy pickup bags are the same. In fact, how many times have you realized that the bags are too small to hold bulk items such as testing kits, diabetic supplies, and other large orders?
Improve your workplace aesthetic simply by dedicating a few shelves or floor space for bulk items that’s easy to navigate. This will make the pickup process much quicker with fewer headaches.
It’s easy to neglect the refrigerator in your pharmacy. However, if it’s messy on the inside, it can be difficult to search for a prescription there. Give it a good scrub down and declutter everything inside. Sort the medications in a way that makes sense. That way, going to the ‘fridge for needed things isn’t a dreaded task for everyone.
Your pharmacy is a playground of viruses. They’re on the floor, counters, door handles, checkout, and on products that are touched day in and day out.
While you can’t eradicate every germ, you can take care to wipe things down on a regular basis to cut down on the cooties and help keep your staff and customers healthy. Keep a bottle of disinfectant and paper towels on hand. Wipe down the counters and checkout area every hour or so. Have employees clean door handles and other areas at the end of each workday. (Be sure to clean windows on a regular basis, as well. No one likes a smudgy, grimy window.)
Does your pharmacy have a drive-thru? If so, keep the outside window clean since it’s open to the elements. A dirty window may eventually deter customers from filling at your independent pharmacy.
If you take good care of the your pharmacy and keep a regular cleaning regimen, customers will keep coming to you for their pharmaceutical needs. Make your pharmacy look as good as the quality of the services you offer, and you’ll have happier, healthier employees and a confident, .
A Member-Owned Company Serving Independent Pharmacies
PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy-side of their business. Founded and owned by pharmacists, PBA Health serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, wholesaler contract negotiations, proprietary purchasing tools, and more.
An HDA member, PBA Health operates its own NABP-accredited secondary wholesaler with more than 6,000 SKUs, including brands, generics, narcotics CII-CV, cold-storage products, and over-the-counter (OTC) products — offering the lowest prices in the secondary market.