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WRNMMC expands innovation and opens new, permanent drive-thru pharmacy

Military pharmacist, wearing a mask, looking at bags of prescriptions Army Sgt. Tyson Boothe filling a patient’s prescription at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s new Prescription Drive-Thru Pick-up located in in the parking lot of building 85T near Gate 1 (North gate). (Photo by Sean Patten, WRNMMC.)

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On Sept. 22, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) held a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the grand opening of a new Prescription Drive-Thru Pick-Up near Naval Support Activity Bethesda’s Gate 1 (North gate).

During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, pharmacy team at WRNMMC quickly made adjustments to pharmacy operations in order to support social distancing and patient convenience.

In this effort, a curbside pharmacy-pick-up was implemented at the America Building (Bldg. 19) pharmacy and allowed for prescription pick-up without having to enter a building. Taking note of the prescription pick-up’s popularity, the WRNMMC pharmacy team set out to improve on this idea.

The new Prescription Drive-Thru Pick-up will operate similarly as the curbside pharmacy pick-up. The pharmacy team believes the new location and building will enhance their patient’s experience.

“This new prescription drive-thru pick-up will be a better environment for staff; and a more convenient and satisfying experience for patients,” stated Navy Cmdr. Emily Zywicke, chief of WRNMMC Pharmacy Department. “The new Prescription Drive-Thru Pick-up requires the patient to activate their new or refill medication 24 hours in advance, by phone or via TRICARE Online. The patient may drive-thru the new pharmacy pick-up in the parking lot of building 85T and have their medications within minutes.”

At the ribbon cutting ceremony, hospital leadership celebrated the hard work the Pharmacy Team put into making the Prescription Drive-thru Pick-up a reality. WRNMMC Chief of Staff Army Col. Anthony Meador, and Director for Clinical Support Services Army Col. Kari McRae both made remarks in recognition of the pharmacy team’s efforts.

“The Pharmacy Team has demonstrated tremendous innovation,” said McRae. “They are not just a group of doers, they are also a group of thinkers,” she added.

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