The ‘round-trip’ distance, between the Keller Army Community Hospital Pharmacy and the ‘in-car dispensing’ location, is approximately 700 feet.
On the afternoon of July 21, 2020, the pharmacy runners provided their 5,000th in-car dispensary – completing nearly 663 miles since the first delivery on March 27, 2020.
The distance completed is equivalent to more than 25 marathons.
“I could not have imagined an average day, of in-car dispensing, would have morphed into nearly 20 weeks of multiple 'Pharmacy Ruck Marches'," said Maj. Thomas Lehmann, Chief, Pharmacy Dept. "The effort being put forth by the pharmacy team members, and the Keller Soldiers who are physically bringing out the medications, has been phenomenal.”
Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Keller Army Community Hospital Pharmacy took on the challenge to find new ways to provide prescriptions while facilitating social distancing and enhancing patient safety. The solution was to make “in-car dispensing” the preferred way for patients to receive their medications.
The plan, which is still in place, was executed in two easy steps:
- Call the pharmacy prior to arriving. The pharmacy will prepare your medications to be ready when you arrive. Call 845-938-2271 / 6619 / 3812. The pharmacy staff will coordinate a time for you to come pick up your medication within about two hours.
- When you arrive at the pharmacy, pull in to one of the numbered pharmacy parking spaces – in the upper parking area, and call the pharmacy again to have a hospital representative bring out your medications out to you.
Beneficiaries, or the representative, picking up medications must provide either a photocopy of their DoD ID card, or a high-quality photo (smart phone is acceptable) of the front and back of the beneficiary’s ID card.
Beneficiaries that are subject to restriction of movement (self-quarantine or self-isolation) can either coordinate through their chain-of-command for a representative to pick-up their medication, or a beneficiary’s sponsor or representative can pick up their medication.
"The decision to create an ‘in-car dispensary’ service, during the COVID-19 pandemic, was smart, thoughtful, innovative, adaptable and flexible, and in the best interest of the health and well-being of our beneficiaries." said Col. Amy L. Jackson, Commander, Keller Army Community Hospital. "The pharmacy identified a threat to their operations and developed a solution to sustain our high-quality health services.”
“The pharmacy’s strategic vision is the reason Army Medicine…is Army Strong,” she added.