Re-fitting a Pharmacy Layout

As the national healthcare debate continues on, pharmacies have made great strides of their own in helping people get quick access to medicine and hygiene products during times like this year’s recent horrific flu season. Popular drug store chains such as Walgreens are even adding on urgent care clinics, so companies should plan for store-fitting in the future as there may now be two separate entrances to the pharmacy.

Front End Pharmacy Store Design

From the first step into a pharmacy, it’s important that the environment is calming. This means using lighting that is more natural than fluorescents; cooler hues of blues and green combined with then open-aspect of windows and doors create an airy feel. Aisles should be clearly labeled and seen from every point in the store, especially from each entrance. They should run perpendicular to the pharmacy counter to make it easy for pharmacists and assistants to see when a customer needs assistance.

The counter is the most important aspect of the pharmacy layout for customers to know where to get their prescriptions filled. The drop-off and pick-up should be in the same area, but  the pick-up window and a separate consultation window should be positioned away from the drop-off location. A customer waiting area between the drop-off and pick-up areas is a very comfortable way to keep the two both aesthetically pleasing and allows customers to hear when their prescriptions are filled.

Back End Pharmacy Layout

Behind the pharmacy counter needs to have a layout designed to be efficient and organized. For pharmacists working diligently, counter and shelf heights affects visibility, and clutter has been shown to impact dispensing errors when medications become difficult to differentiate. The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) has created medical safety zones that are defined as “any critical area where medications are prescribed, transcribed, prepared, and administered, medication safety zones can include counters, medication carts, pharmacies, the patient bedside, and even homes where medications are administered.” These areas should be organized so that important components to the working pharmacists are in convenient locations, and frequently used items are located where they can easily be found without confusion. Items related functionally are grouped together and are placed in an order that supports the sequence necessary to support the task. Standardization is also emphasized, along with the use of design constraints and forcing functions for high-alert medications.

Pharmacies are crucial to public health and wellness, and to have a successful store, it’s important that the layout is configured for a quick, effective customer experience. For more information and assistance, contact Sky Retail today.