The prestigious Guild Pharmacy of the Year Award is set to be announced at this week’s APP2016 conference on the Gold Coast: in this series, AJP profiles the finalists
“We have invested a great deal of time, money and energy in training our team to be confident in delivering a growing number of health services. Providing a suite of professional services starts with having well-qualified staff.”
Proprietor Noel Fosbery of WA’s Friendlies High Wycombe explains this approach to why a heavy emphasis on training – and maintaining the skills learned in training – is fundamental to the operation and success of the pharmacy.
“In 2016 we plan to deliver programs for diabetes management, sleep apnoea, smoking cessation and wound care,” he says.
“The training is a very important part of this process. And we also have recognised the need to provide customer service training across the store with a key focus on not simply dispensing or selling.
“I think our greatest challenge going forward will be the logistics of implementing the raft of new services that we will be able to offer the public in 2016.
“In particular we will be implementing a new diabetes management system which will enable us to make a huge difference to this most common of disease states.
“We also expect to double our flu vaccinations in 2016. This is because, although very successful, 2015 was our first year and we tried not to push the service too much in an effort to ensure that we could get the personnel and systems right. The gloves are off in 2016!”
Fosbery says engagement with stakeholders and clients is also a basic aspect of the pharmacy’s approach.
“Engaging corporate clients has been one reason we have been able to lift our vaccination target for 2016 to more than 2000. We have also engaged other health providers including diabetes educators and sleep physicians and worked to help them better understand the potential a community pharmacy has to deliver these programs.”
Fosbery says although it has taken a leap of faith to heavily engage in the provision of health services, the pharmacy is already seeing the financial benefits.
“One by one we are building personal relationships between our customers and our pharmacy team which is surely the only true loyalty program,” he says.
An innovative approach by the pharmacy is its partnership with Australia’s fourth largest health insurer, HBF – a partnership which offers a new funding model for pharmacy services in Australia.
“This partnership is an amazing ‘win, win, win’ situation,” he says.
“The client wins by getting better value from their health fund and, more importantly, by improving their health and wellbeing.
“HBF wins by reducing claims in the longer term because their clients are healthier and less likely to claim. In addition, HBF’s research shows a marked drop in their membership churn rate for members who have used these services.
“We win through increased sales from health services, repeat business and new customers. Not to mention the incredible satisfaction of helping people improve their health journey.”
by Peter Waterman