While medication dispensing is a necessary function of being a Pharmacist, it isn’t necessarily the most professionally rewarding role of a pharmacist Given that community pharmacy is one of Australia’s most accessible healthcare professions more community pharmacies are starting to offer a growing range of Professional Services.^ Offering Professional Services encourages patients to view their local community pharmacy as a primary healthcare provider. This interaction develops a strong interpersonal relationship between Pharmacists and their patient community. A strong pharmacist-patient relationship not only builds patient loyalty, but also provides Pharmacists with a professionally rewarding experience, by placing a higher level of value on their role.
“I think a lot of Pharmacists want that [Professional Services] as part of their role, because that is why they became a pharmacist, rather than just dispensing medication”* says Lucy Walker, Lucy Walker Chemmart, Goondiwindi – 2017 Pharmacy Guild of Australia Pharmacy of the Year finalist.
It is the application of this philosophy in-pharmacy that makes Lucy Walker and her staff stand out from their peers, and has contributed to this Goondiwindi pharmacy – Lucy Walker Chemmart, being chosen as a finalist in this year’s Pharmacy Guild of Australia Pharmacy of the Year Awards.
In an interview with GuildLink, Lucy described her mid-sized pharmacy as a place where patient interaction and services are at the forefront, describing their work as “professionally rewarding”.* Lucy and her team-leader pharmacist Nadia put a lot of their success down to the delivery of and instore attention on Professional Services.
After renovating the pharmacy three years ago, which included building two new consultation rooms, the pharmacy’s focus has shifted away from being a dispense-centric to a Professional Services centric pharmacy. Lucy and Nadia both comment that the community values the changes they have made. “Customers know we provide the service. So, they come to us…. Which is nice in a small community because they put their trust in us”* says Lucy. It’s this trust that fuels the notion that Professional Services are the heart and soul of community pharmacy.
Lucy and Nadia attribute much of their Professional Services accomplishment to how they manage the staffing of their store. Stating that where possible they try to have at least three pharmacists instore during opening hours to ensure that they have enough valuable time to spend with patients conducting Professional Services, while still managing the dispense side of their care. This not only addresses the needs of the patient, but also allows their Pharmacist staff to deliver on the more professionally engaging and rewarding side of their role.
Using a Professional Services software platform, like GuildCare, allows you to focus on delivering quality Professional Services and patient care to your community in a more efficient and heart felt way – taking much of the physical paperwork out of your interaction with the patient and freeing you up to deliver a valuable Professional Service. Staff at Lucy Walker Chemmart have varied ways in which they deliver Professional Services through the GuildCare platform. Some take hand written notes on a printed GuildCare form and load the recorded data into the software after the patient care services has been conducted. Others will enter information directly into GuildCare during a consultation. Either way Lucy feels strongly that you “definitely need a platform to do it…. GuildCare is available on every computer in my pharmacy…. Which makes it easy.”*
Visit the GuildCare stand at this year’s APP conference to learn how you can implement Professional Services and enhance your role as a Pharmacist through a technology partner.
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia 2017 Pharmacy of the Year finalists will be recognised, and the 2017 winner announced between 12:00-12:45pm on Thursday, 9 March 2017, at this year’s APP conference.