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Associated Food Stores was one of two U.S. pharmacies that participated in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Association of County and City Health Officials’ (NACCHO) 2015 Scripted Surge Pandemic Influenza Pharmacy Exercise.
More than 60 people participated in the exercise at the West Jordan Macey’s on Aug. 30. The purpose of the exercise was to assess how a pharmacy would handle an influx of patients needing vaccines and routine health and prescription drug services during a pandemic emergency to increase points of access beyond health departments and hospitals. Associated Food Stores created an emergency preparedness plan that included designated waiting areas, staffing and workflows.
By participating in the event, Associated Food Stores hopes to be better prepared for future emergencies. “We were able to identify potential areas in pharmacy workflows that could be improved to support the surge in patients we could see during a flu emergency,” said Denise Kunkel, member pharmacy operations manager at Associated Food Stores. “We were able to create action plans to ensure we continue to provide the care our communities have come to know and expect from our pharmacies.”
The results of the exercise will not be available for several months, but Associated Food Stores will continue to work with government agencies to develop new plans and policies for its pharmacies.