A procedures manual is critical for a pharmacy, given the nature of the work. Prepare a well-written policy manual to cover legal matters and ensure proper management of the business. Detail how to handle prescriptions, supervise staff, deal with physicians and various providers and ensure the best patient care. List federal and local regulations and describe the hierarchy in your organization.
Dispensation of Medications
Precise handling of medications is the most important subject to address in your policy and procedures manual. The very existence of written policies and processes can protect the pharmacist and pharmacy should liability issues arise. The manner of counting pills and tablets, measuring liquids and powders and preparing mixtures should be addressed. Your manual should include quality control and assurance procedures such as a check-and-balance plan.
Handling of Controlled Substances
Laws dictate the manner in which controlled substances are dispensed. List the steps involved in dispensing narcotics and other substances that require strict supervision. This section should outline how controlled substances are dispensed, how customer identity is verified and how to record the amounts of drugs dispensed on what dates. Logs with signatures of customers and the pharmacist or technician should be maintained and preserved.
Inventory Control and Auditing
Address the manner of stocking of medications, ordering and handling of shipments and proper auditing. Your manual should document often prescribed drugs and special ordering of doctor or patient requests. Explain your method of auditing and whether the bottles are recorded by wholes and halves or 10ths. Periodic inventory procedures should be in place to assure correct handling of medications. For example, your manual might dictate that outside auditors perform precise inventories every three months in addition to your staff’s ongoing auditing.
Customer Relations and Education
A critical aspect of the pharmacist’s job is good customer service. Your manual should stress this. For example, list specific expectations of how you and your employees will address patients on the phone and in person. Explain how you educate customers about their medications, including proper dosage, possible drug interactions, the prospect of side effects and other expectations. Building trust with customers is a critical part of the pharmacist's job, and the manual should note that.
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