MADIGAN ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. – “Our patients’ safety is our paramount concern, as well as providing you the highest quality of care and the excellent level of service that is synonymous with the Madigan name,” said Madigan Commander Col. Christopher Warner in a recent Facebook video streamed to over 20,000 Madigan Facebook followers. “While our initial focus is remedying the current pharmacy situation, I have heard your feedback and concerns that there is still room for improvement in our long-term pharmacy experience,” Warner candidly added before laying out immediate plans to resolve the wait times at Madigan’s COVID-19-impacted Drive-Thru Pharmacy operation.
Earlier this month, a staff member who was exposed in the community was diagnosed with COVID-19. To ensure the safety of staff and patients, all of the staff members who came in contact with the COVID-19-positive employee, both directly or indirectly, were immediately screened for COVID-19 and placed under quarantine. This had a significant impact on a number of Madigan’s clinical areas, especially the Main Outpatient Drive-Thru Pharmacy.
Many of the quarantined staff have now been cleared and have returned to work. Madigan has also coordinated with the 47th Combat Support Hospital to have additional staff in place to better serve our patients.
“Our team is taking our patients’ feedback as a call to action, looking to improve not only your pharmacy experience right now during this pandemic, but well after COVID-19,” Warner added.
Since the public service announcement style video from Madigan’s commander, who assumed command in mid-July, there has been a drastic increase in efficiency and a decrease in wait times. These were once several hours long, but are now averaging less than two hours after 8 a.m. in most cases. Also, patients are not being turned away due to a high number of cars in line or staff being overloaded.
The Drive-Thru’s line, previously overwhelmed by the sheer volume of patients and staff shortages, is no longer closing early or curtailing hours either. The Main Outpatient Drive-Thru Pharmacy is now sustainably open 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., every Saturday. All vehicles that arrive before closing time, will be seen; this is another commitment Madigan is making to its patients.
The Main Hospital’s Outpatient Pharmacy Lobby and the Walk-Up Refill Pharmacy located in the Main Hospital are both still closed until further notice to avoid the risk of patient and staff exposure to COVID-19. The Pharmacy Drive-Thru located at the Main Hospital is the sole prescription preparation and pick-up point. As the scope and impact of COVID-19 continues to evolve, Madigan is committed to providing the best possible care while adapting to ensure the health and safety of our patients, staff and the JBLM community during this pandemic.
“I cannot thank you enough for your loyalty and commitment to Madigan Army Medical Center,” Warner said. “It is my expectation that our team embodies the Care with Compassion mantra in everything that we do. I know you have seen vast improvements immediately, but know we still have much more to do.”
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