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News | Dec. 7, 2020

MAHC pharmacy continues to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic

Since the onset of COVID-19, patient health care delivery has changed. One of the major changes involved the Munson Army Health Center (MAHC) pharmacy.
“The biggest challenge for the Pharmacy during COVID has been the need to adapt and modify processes and procedures to serve our beneficiaries while also ensuring the safety of our pharmacy staff, runners, and patients,” said Maj. Gregory Hare, Chief of Munson pharmacy. 
The Munson pharmacy quickly put into place a Drive-Thru pick-up and prescription drop –off service. This allows for safe social distancing and eliminates the need for people having to wait in a small area that could potentially increase the risk for contracting the virus.
“The pharmacy has been fortunate to have outstanding support from the entire Fort Leavenworth community.  Since July, MAHC has been able to secure at least 6-8 volunteers from units all across post, to serve as runners for the pharmacy’s drive-thru operations.  Although many of these volunteers have no medical background, they all undergo HIPAA training so they understand how to properly protect patients’ privacy.  Each volunteer has embraced working in the drive-thru and offers a friendly welcome and exceptional service to every patient they serve,” said Hare.
The beneficiary must contact the pharmacy to activate any new or renewal prescriptions.
“The provider enters the prescription electronically or the patient is given a paper prescription at the time they are seen by their Primary Care Provider.. The patient calls our call-in number to activate the prescription. Unfortunately, our calls to the pharmacy have now tripled in number and that in itself has been a challenge,” said Hare.
The pharmacy has worked to upgrade the equipment and has recruited volunteers from within Munson to help answer the phones. MAHC has extended call-in times an additional 4 hours a day.
“I think the most significant near-term change will be adding the capability for patients to request activation of their non-urgent medications using Tricare Online’s Secure Messaging platform, starting October 19, 2020, said Hare. This allows patients to submit a request to activate their prescriptions to the Pharmacy without having to call- in.”
In the future, Munson is exploring the option of text messaging and phone notifications.
“I envision the Pharmacy making strides to continue improving pharmaceutical care that we provide to our beneficiaries on a daily basis.  I hope to explore leveraging additional automation and technologies to streamline services within the Pharmacy, keep our beneficiaries well-informed, improve patient safety, and increase patient satisfaction,” said Hare.
The Munson pharmacy is open for call-in service 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday- Friday. Allow up to a 2 hour processing time for new prescriptions. Drive-Thru pick –up service hours or Drop-off prescription service 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. The call-in number is (913) 684- 6059 to activate prescriptions or talk to a pharmacist.
All refill requests must call (913) 684-6500 for processing. There is a 2 day turn-around for refill pick up.
 
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