The Essentials of Designing a Safe and Secure Pharmacy

Designing a Safe and Secure Pharmacy in 2021

Whether it’s for a chain of discount chemists, a boutique metro dispensary, or a small family pharmacy – staff and customers should always feel safe and comfortable. This blog will discuss some key safety considerations to include when designing and building modern pharmacies. We’ve talked to Jason, the Director of Total Fitouts Bay of Plenty about trends, must-haves, and how great design can help keep pharmacy staff and customers safe.

Safety considerations for modern pharmacies

It comes as no surprise that pharmacies are at-risk spaces for theft, assault, and contagion. They store medications that nefarious people want to get their hands on, and likely keep some cash on the premises. Some common safety concerns include:

  • Drugs getting into the wrong hands
  • Staff or customers getting threatened or assaulted
  • Theft
  • Covid

Post covid regulations

There’s no denying that 2020 brought about a change to how retail spaces are designed and run, and pharmacies are no different. Some health and safety precautions to make are:

  • Sneeze guards to protect staff
  • A layout that allows social distancing and prevents bottlenecks
  • Surfaces that are easy to sterilise
  • Queue markers on the floor
  • Hand sanitising stations

The importance of layout

The layout and position of the dispensary is essential for any well-working pharmacy, as it is the area pharmacists will spend most of their time. “It needs to be a really efficient and clean place to work. It also needs to have a good overview, which is why it’s good to raise it up.”

When staff has a clear view of the pharmacy floor from the dispensary, it can deter theft or other anti-social behaviour, and allow staff to more easily spot someone in need of their assistance.

Keeping money and drugs locked away

Remove temptation to reduce risk. To keep the medication and drugs on-site safely stored, a pharmacy needs a regulation-compliant safe that’s bolted down. Jason says that pharmacy thefts are less common now than they used to, and points out two key reasons for this trend. “The drugs kept on the premises are generally less tempting for people than they used to be, and they are more safely secured.”

Lights, camera, action

While clever design can minimise harm, it cannot prevent it entirely. These are some important additions that can catch or stop someone who wishes to break in or cause harm.

  • Adequate lighting
  • A duress button
  • CCTV cameras and alarm
  • Height markers
  • Secure locks

Making staff and customers feel both safe and comfortable

Pharmacies, like other healthcare facilities, are often daunting places that can put us out of our comfort zone. That’s why well-designed pharmacies not only help keep people safe but also make them feel comfortable. Gone are the days when a pharmacy needed to be all white walls and fluro lights, instead take a leaf out of retail’s book! Play around with wall art, warm colours, and interesting textures to make people feel welcome as soon as they step through your doors – safety and personality can go hand in hand.

Start a conversation about your pharmacy build or renovation with your local Total Fitouts team – we’re here to help!