We all know that Pharmacy is about more than dispensing medicine and selling beauty products and as one of Australia’s most trusted healthcare providers community pharmacy has a lasting effect of the health of all Australians. The key activity that separates great pharmacies from pharmacies that just dispense medicine is patient care, in the form of Professional Services. To stay competitive in the current state of community pharmacy it is important to provide key services that are vital to the community. GuildLink, together with The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, value the role that Professional Services play in the future of community pharmacy, and actively work to improve the deliverability of Professional Services in Australia.
With around 350 Million visits to community pharmacies annually, the industry isthe most visited medical profession in Australia.[i] It is this constant and trusted community engagement that is setting the scene for the rise of in–pharmacy Professional Services. In 2015, the 6CPA agreement ratified the future of Professional Services in Pharmacy by releasing ‘…..up to $1.26 Billion… for evidence-based, patient-focused professional pharmacy programmes and service.’[ii] It is now in the hands of community pharmacists to realise the potential of Professional Services.
As one of Pharmacy Guild’s 2017 Pharmacy of the Year Finalists Perth’s Beaufort Street 24hr Chemist is leading the charge towards a Professional Services centric pharmacy model. Recognised for their ‘Professional Services Innovation’ Beaufort Street 24hr Chemist values its role in improving the health outcomes of the local community, and has made business decisions focused on driving health initiatives in-store.
In an interview with GuildLink, Alexis McLeod, Pharmacist and Partner at Beaufort Street 24hr Chemist, outlined that “Professional Services are the future of this pharmacy”[iii] arguing that community engagement is something that needs strengthening, and one of the most valuable ways to connect with the community is through Professional Services. As a 24hr pharmacy, Beaufort Street 24hr Chemist has a unique set of circumstances in which to shape its engagement with the community. During a late 2016 interview with The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Pharmacist and Partner Bruce Affleck highlighted how as a 24hr pharmacy it would have been easy to focus on playing the role of a ‘convenience store’, going on to emphasise that a Professional Services future is something that the business is passionate about. Making key business decisions over the past few years has seen the pharmacy focus on Professional Services as a component of their pharmacy’s future as a “Healthcare Hub”.[iv]
Beaufort Street 24hr Chemist offers a wide variety of Professional Services that include, but are not limited to, Medicine Consultations – MedsCheck, DAA, MedScreen Compliance; Health Checks – Blood Pressure testing Blood Glucose testing, Hearing testing; Baby Progress Recording; Sleep Apnoea assessments; and Vaccinations. When questioned about how the store manages the implementation of such a wide variety of Professional Service programs Alexis and Bruce are happy to share their innovative approach, identifying four key factors as critical to their successful Professional Services implementation:
- Staffing: In an interview with The Guild, Bruce explains how since 2013 the pharmacy has increased pharmacist rostered hours by 43%, ensuring that all their staff Pharmacists have the support and time to spend with patients delivering Professional Services. They have also invested in an after-hours clinic, run by nurse practitioners, to ensure consistent delivery of a wider variety of services.
- Promotions: In an interview with GuildLink, Alexis highlighted that an effective way to retain patient and staff attention on Professional Services offerings is to promote health focuses, like choosing a health issue of the month and driving Professional Services engagement around that particular health issue.
- Consultation Room: In line with industry standards, Beaufort 24hr Pharmacy has converted a back-office space into a consultation room, enabling them to have a conduct their Professional Services in a more practical manner.
- Technology: Alexis reveals that many Professional Services are better conducted using a technology partner, like GuildCare. Describing GuildCare as a “friendly interface that pharmacies are familiar with” Alexis goes on to explain how using a software that records and tracks services conducted adds more value to the patient and enables healthier outcomes.[v]
Using Beaufort Street 24hr Pharmacy’s successful implementation of Professional Services as an example, GuildLink encourages all community pharmacies to consider the role Professional Services plays in the future of your business and your profession. Visit the GuildCare stand (12-13) at this year’s APP conference to learn how you can implement Professional Services with a technology partner and experience the future of Professional Services technology with GuildCare NG – Your Next Gen Pharmacy Partner.
[ii] 2015 Australian Government Department of Health Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement [p. 15, Section 6.11]
[iii] Alexis McLeod – Beaufort Street 24hr Chemist, Interview with GuildCare, 21 December 2016
[iv] Guild Pharmacy of the Year finalist: Beaufort Community Pharmacy (22 Dec 2016) http://www.guild.org.au/news-events/recent-activity/blog-post/recent-activity/2016/12/21/guild-pharmacy-of-the-year-finalist-beaufort-st-24hr-chemist
[v] Alexis McLeod – Beaufort Street 24hr Chemist, Interview with GuildCare, 21 December 2016