Transforming pharmacy

How a Guild initiative aims to broaden pharmacy’s professional service offering. Pam Price explains  

The launch of a range of programs and tools to help great community pharmacies become even better is integral to the Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s Pharmacy Transformation initiative which is helping pharmacies maximise and broaden the professional services they provide to patients.

Through Pharmacy Transformation, community pharmacies across Australia now have an opportunity to transform their businesses in a way that delivers better outcomes for patients, and stronger businesses for pharmacists and pharmacy staff.

Importantly the Guild sees Pharmacy Transformation not as moving from the core business of dispensing medicines and related products and services but rather incorporating professional services that complement and add value to provide an integrated health solution.

The programs and tools available to Guild pharmacies include the Opportunity Analysis tool, Pharmacy Health Solutions guide; Health Advice Plus program and the Professional Services Viability tool.

The Opportunity Analysis tool highlights to pharmacies any lost opportunity income linked to key service areas including 6CPA funded programs, third party income, prescription and medication programs, screening and testing services. It establishes a performance benchmarking mechanism to help participating pharmacies secure revenue as they move to a professional services model.

The Pharmacy Health Solutions tool is a guide on initial steps towards optimising health outcomes from pharmacist-led counselling advice, with a flow-on effect of increasing front-of-pharmacy sales. A Preparing your pharmacy for change guide provides pharmacy owners with information on how to implement changes within their pharmacy.

The Health Advice Plus program is the flagship program is designed to assist pharmacy owners to understand and reach professional service potential through a program guide and training; mentoring and implementation support; consultation space set-up assistance; communication and marketing; and complete health promotion modules.

The program has been adopted by a number of pharmacies already which are reporting very positive results.

At Priceline Pharmacy West Brunswick, the decision to join the program was underscored by proprietor Alvin Narsey’s commitment to moving further and more strategically into the delivery of professional services.

Mr Narsey said he examined what was available in the market and saw that Health Advice Plus suited his needs perfectly. “I decided to go with Health Advice Plus as it meets my needs and I believe it is value for money.”

At Barone Pharmacy Woodcroft, NSW, proprietor Mario Barone said he decided to introduce the program because he recognised that it fitted in with his philosophical approach to the profession and the way the profession was developing.

“I recognise the need to be pro-active as we move forward,” Mr Barone said. “I looked at Health Advice Plus and the concept sounded good and so I decided to go ahead with it. I saw it as providing an opportunity to formalise the structures for existing services that we already provided in our pharmacies.” Mr Barone said the program not only strengthened existing programs but opened the door for new programs.

The other tool in the Pharmacy Transformation suite is the Professional Viability tool which combines established cost bases with a pharmacy’s own details to develop a fee-for-service guide for delivering pharmacy professional services. The tool can be used to determine the pharmacy’s own service fee according to its individual costs, associated product sales and profit margin relative to the competitive environment.

Pam Price is group executive, Pharmacy Transformation at the Pharmacy Guild of Australia

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