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Madigan pharmacy to close for renovation

Madigan Army Medical Center Public Affairs

Published: 05:39PM May 8th, 2014

The Madigan Main Outpatient Pharmacy is getting ready to put the way it currently fills prescriptions “on its head,” with a complete over-haul of its antiquated system.

Once complete, the new pharmacy will feature prescription intake and out-take windows, more staff during peak hours and a text message option for completed prescriptions. The new hours will be in effect May 27.

The intake windows will be a concierge type of approach where all the necessary preliminary information will be gathered; there will be no prescription filling at these windows.

Also at the intake windows, priorities will be assigned and customers will be able to decide if they would like to wait or return later to pick up their prescription.

If patients want to return once their orders are filled, they will can elect to receive a text message alert letting them know their prescription is ready. At an outtake window, patients will receive their prescriptions and important information pertaining to their medication.

“We believe the changes will help give our customers the freedom to manage their own time when picking up their prescriptions, while allowing us to maintain our current high level of safety and accuracy,” said Norm Gaudreau, Madigan Ambulatory Pharmacy Services chief. “Once complete, walking into the Madigan Main Outpatient Pharmacy is going to be a completely new, convenient patient experience.”

The main renovation will be completed during the Memorial Day weekend to minimize patient impact. The following is a timeline for closures and changes:

• May 22-26 — Madigan’s Main Outpatient Pharmacy will close for renovations.

We are asking patients and customers to plan ahead to ensure they have enough medication to cover the closure. The Madigan drive-thru pharmacy and inside walk-up refill windows will remain open regular hours to refill prescriptions called in three days in advance. Patients with new prescriptions that would normally be filled at the

Madigan Main Outpatient Pharmacy will be redirected to an alternate site on Friday and Saturday. All outlying Madigan Patient-Centered Medical Home clinics will not be impacted, although you must be assigned to a specific PCMH clinic to use its pharmacy.

• May 22 — The Madigan pharmacy in the JBLM Lewis Main Exchange Mini Mall, Building 2202, will be permanently closed. May 21 will be the last day for prescription pick-ups, after that day all prescriptions may be picked up at the Madigan Main Outpatient Pharmacy. The volume does not justify the staffing required.

External providers will be able to electronically enter prescriptions directly into our system, as they do with network pharmacies. This will further decrease the need for an off-site pharmacy for paper prescriptions.

• May 27 — The Madigan Main Outpatient Pharmacy, including the inside walk-up refill window and drive-thru refill pharmacy, will permanently change its hours to open at 8 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

The Madigan Main Outpatient Pharmacy will remain open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on training holidays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

• Near Future — Outside providers will be able to send prescriptions electronically to the Madigan Main Outpatient Pharmacy. For those patients assigned to one of Madigan’s outlying Patient-Centered Medical Homes, prescription may also be sent electronically from an outside provider to their respective clinic.

Frequently Asked Questions

• How will shortening the hours in the Madigan Main Outpatient Pharmacy benefit patients?

The new hours, effective May 27, will allow us to concentrate our staff to achieve the maximum number of windows open during peak business times. This should decrease the amount of time a patient waits for a prescription.

• I keep hearing that the new system will get patients to the window quicker. How will the new system accomplish that?

The new process rapidly processes prescriptions in a “triage” fashion. Once customers are seen at an intake window, they can leave and return after their prescription is ready (for example after receiving a text or the next day.)

• Once the JBLM Lewis Main Mini Mall Pharmacy is closed, can patients request to have their prescriptions refilled or filled at one of the other clinics, like McChord or Winder, instead of coming to the Madigan Main Outpatient Pharmacy?

Only patients who are seen at a specific outlying Madigan Patient-Centered Medical Home clinic may use its pharmacy. Those clinics are only stocked and staffed to cover their own patient and prescription volume.

• With the new system, once a patient receives a text message letting them know their prescription is ready, how long will they have to pick it up?

They will have three days to pick up their prescription and important medication information from an outtake window. Whether or not a patient decides to wait for a prescription, or return later, this is how all new prescriptions will be picked up and counselling accomplished.

• Will active-duty service members in uniform still have priority to pick up outpatient prescriptions?

Priorities will be assigned wherever possible, keeping active-duty service members in uniform in mind.

• Is this the end of the changes?

No, this is actually just one of the changes we have in store for the Madigan Pharmacy Service. Customers will soon be able to scan their tickets to identify where in the process their prescriptions are at that moment, providing an approximate wait time. Scanning devices will eventually check this status from multiple locations within the hospital. We also hope to one day have a system in which patients don’t even have to present at the pharmacy until their orders are ready.

Finally, we are in the process of opening a pharmacy in the pediatric clinic.