A prescription for staple-free pharmacies

05Jul10

Every time I pick up a prescription, I have to go through a delicate and dangerous process. No, I’m not talking about opening the bottle or taking the medication. Rather, I’m referring to the effort of separating the paperwork from the actual bottle or container, which involves removing between two and four metal staples from the complex mess of papers, bags and bottles.

If liberating the staples is hard for a relatively young person like me, I can only imagine the stress it causes for the elderly or other groups that have limited range of motion in their hands. Ironically, pharmacies already provide easy-to-open bottles for these groups. But those bottles are likely to be wrapped in the same staple-laden mess, which is harder to deal with than the child-proof bottles that seemingly get all the attention.

With this in mind, pharmacies should phase out the use of staples or other sharp items, and switch to something that’s less frustrating and dangerous to customers. For example, they could use tape or binder clips — or even that nifty method that attaches paper together by just weaving the paper itself. Either way, replacing frustrating and dangerous metal staples with an easier and safer option is the right thing to do. It’s inexpensive and simple to implement, and would make a world of difference for those customers who dread having to spend time battling with staples after each visit to the pharmacy.



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