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HOUSTON (May 4, 2020) — As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Harris Health System’s pharmacy home-delivery service saw a dramatic spike in deliveries. From 2017 to February 2020, the service delivered approximately 2,000 prescriptions to patients’ homes a month. That number jumped to more than 100,000 prescriptions delivered between late March and the end of April.
Harris Health’s pharmacy department has focused on making the experience of medication pick-up easy, affordable and more convenient for patients. This commitment has been tested during the pandemic when patients were no longer allowed to visit any of Harris Health’s 15 pharmacy locations because of possible exposure to the virus while waiting in large numbers for their medications.
“As COVID-19 started to emerge across the nation, we decided to leverage our existing home delivery option—a free service provided to Harris Health patients,” says Michael Nnadi, PharmD, senior vice president and chief pharmacy officer, Harris Health System. “Our delivery method protects patients; they are able to stay home and stay safe instead of coming into the clinic to wait on their medication. This ensures the safety of our employees as well.”
To make sure patients focus on what really matters, staying home and staying healthy, Harris Health pharmacy leadership sprung to action. They immediately began encouraging more patients to enroll in the system’s Medication Home Delivery Program.
“This is something we will continue to promote moving forward,” Nnadi says. “Home delivery also eliminates wait times, reduces the number of calls, minimizes transportation expenses and most importantly, decreases exposure to infection. The feedback from our patients has been truly outstanding.”
Along with frequent and efficient deliveries, Harris Health pharmacy now delivers refrigerated items directly to patients who may need insulin or any other medications that have to remain cold.
Currently, the top medical conditions that receive home delivery for Harris Health patients are:• Diabetes• High-blood pressure• Cholesterol/cardiovascular disease• Asthma/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease• Rheumatoid arthritis
“At the end of the day, what really matters is that our patients are focused on getting better and staying healthy and safe as we continue to deliver on our promise,” Nnadi says.