Three ways to build health services in 2016

health services: pharmacist talks to patient

Building health services in 2016? Here are three tips to help you succeed, writes Vanessa Lontos

January is an exciting time in pharmacy. It marks the beginning of a new year, an opportunity to take a breath and reflect on the year just gone, and some time to get your energy back.

While many may be anticipating 2016 as a year of continued change and challenge within the industry, it is also the beginning of a year of renewed enthusiasm and possibility around change, growth and expansion into health services.

Here are three tips to help you make the changes to expand your pharmacy successfully:


  1. Know your vision and then position yourself that way every day

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else.”

This quote perfectly summarises the power of having a vision. Building your pharmacy as a health services practice starts with you knowing what that looks like.

Ask yourself the question: “How does our pharmacy create experiences for our patients to solve their health problems?”

Dispensing their medications is only one part of solving their problems. For example, can you create a forward dispensing model that allows the patient more time with the pharmacist, do your staff know how to engage to have broad health based conversations?

Often we can get stuck in daily routines and processes; however it’s important to spend at least five minutes every day focusing on your vision, and then assessing where in the pharmacy is this vision being presented.


  1. Set 90-day goals

There is a growing body of research that shows that to successfully achieve your goals your need to do three things[1]:

  • Be specific – write down the outcome of achieving the goal. What does achieving the goal look, feel and sound like? What evidence will you have?
  • Set a deadline – 90 day goals are powerful because they give you enough time to allow for the change process to take place and also provide you with a sense of urgency that isn’t stressful.
  • Write it down – Writing down your goal links it to who you are. When you take ownership of something you are more likely to remain committed to it. Scientists call this the ‘endowment effect’. The idea of taking ownership of something and then linking it to your identity helps you achieve it.


  1. Focus on people first

The heart of pharmacy is its people. Growing research in human behaviour now shows that humans are driven mostly by their feelings.

Make sure you spend some time everyday assessing how you are feeling, how connected are you to your patients and how are you working as a team to collectively create a better health for your community.

On the days when you are busy, overwhelmed, concerned about what the competition is doing, remember this quote by Dr Martin Luther King:

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”


Vanessa Lontos is a community pharmacist, former pharmacy owner and the founder of The Care Project. Vanessa helps pharmacy owners, pharmacists and pharmacy assistants to improve pharmacy practice by promoting better health outcomes, whole-health solution sales and implementation of professional pharmacy services.


[1] Adapted from article by Author Tom Mendoza Article: 90 day goals changed my life Viewed at Feb 11 2015

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