Q&A: The Compliance Team’s Canally on improving processes amid pandemic
Sandra Canally, founder and CEO of The Compliance Team, recognizes the role pharmacies are playing in helping consumers deal with the coronavirus pandemic. However, she said that pharmacies have long served consumers, and that will not change as the crisis fades. Drug Store News spoke with Canally about the state of the pharmacy industry and what needs to be done to stay ahead of the curve in the crucial months ahead.
Drug Store News: How do you think the pandemic is impacting pharmacy?
Sandra Canally: Pharmacies like just about every other business in the world have been impacted by the pandemic. What sets pharmacies apart from other businesses is that pharmacies are designated as essential and must remain open. We are seeing pharmacy owners and employees as heroes in their communities. They were going above and beyond long before there were guidelines for how to do business during the pandemic. I see the pandemic as making pharmacies better for the whole experience. They are helping to define the new way of doing business.
DSN: What do pharmacists need to do to best serve their patients?
SC: Whether during a pandemic or not, pharmacists need to always put the patient first. We are seeing evidence that they are consistently doing this, even when they are struggling financially. Currently during this pandemic, we are seeing a high percentage of retail altering the way they do business. For example, utilizing curbside pickup and home delivery in place of coming into the store.
Those that maintain that retail model are utilizing social distancing, hand sanitizer, and the use of personal protective equipment. They are screening the patients prior to entering and/or using signage to direct patients.
DSN: The Compliance Team is conducting a weekly webinar to help educate the retail community. What are your goals with these virtual events?
SC: Our goals in holding weekly webinars is, first of all, to let our providers know that we are here to respond to their questions. We let them know that our advisors and senior management are always available to respond to their issues. If we do not know the answers, we will do our best to get them. The webinars also allow us to convey the most recent information we have regarding accreditation and COVID-19 response.
These webinars are more about practical tips for day-to-day operation then accreditation. Please know that day-to-day is a reflection of what has been implemented by the accreditation process.
DSN: How will the lessons that retailers have learned from the pandemic impact the future of pharmacy?
SC: Pharmacies have had to respond quickly to dire situations in their communities, from implementing a delivery service where none previously existed to limiting the number of people in their stores at any given time, to dealing with sanitation of returned items.
Not only will pharmacies — and all businesses — be better prepared for emergencies in the future, we see that accreditation standards are going to now include stricter requirements that will ensure the safety of patients and employees.
What strikes me as most important are learning ways to reimagine a better way of doing things.