Shepherd Center expert offers tips for making sure you have the medications and medical supplies you need.
By Laura O’Pry, RN, BSN, CCM, CRRN
Transition Support Program Manager at Shepherd Center
Living well with a spinal cord injury, brain injury, MS or chronic pain can include a lot of medication and equipment needs. As people worldwide prepare for an extended period of isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19), here are a few tips to help you make sure you have what you need.
- As a best practice, you should have at least 30 days of supplies and medications on hand at all times, but especially during times when travel and social interaction is restricted.
- Keep a list of all of your necessary medications and supplies, and make sure a caregiver and/or family member also has access to your list should they need to do the ordering for you.
- Check with your medical supply vendor now regarding the availability and expected delivery dates for the items you need on hand to manage your health for the next 30 days.
- Many items require a medical provider’s order, which should be written for a 30-day supply or more when permitted.
- Because many items are made outside the U.S., there may be delays related to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Request refills of your medications from your pharmacy with plenty of time before your prescription runs out. Some pharmacies may be able to provide you with an early refill if you are not yet due for one. Some insurance companies have waived restrictions on how much of a medication an individual can get at a time.
- For Atlanta area customers, the Shepherd Apothecary, located inside Shepherd Center, is open during its regular hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. Given the current visitor restrictions at Shepherd Center, customers will be screened at the entrance. Alternatively, customers may call the Apothecary at 404-350-7743 to pay for their prescription medications by credit card. They can let the Apothecary staff know when they will arrive at the hospital’s front circle driveway by the Terry Lee statue. Then, an Apothecary staff member will deliver the prescription to the customer’s car. Another option for some customers is to have the Apothecary ship medications via UPS. Normal delivery is two to three days, but shipments could be delayed.
- Follow proper cleaning protocol for all supplies and equipment to lengthen their period of usefulness and to prevent infection.
Laura O’Pry, RN, BSN, CCM, CRRN, is the Transition Support Program Manager at Shepherd Center. She leads a team of healthcare professionals who help prevent patient rehospitalization, improve health and safety outcomes, and promote patient and family autonomy once a patient is discharged from Shepherd Center. Learn more here.
Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 743 inpatients, 277 day program patients and more than 7,161 outpatients each year in more than 46,000 visits.