A clear focus on the future and the needs of a community pharmacy in a changing environment are key reasons this pharmacy won the Excellence in Business Management category in Pharmacy of the Year
The Pharmacy Guild has announced that Capital Chemist Chisholm in the ACT has been named the category winner in its Pharmacy of the Year competition.
One of the winners of the three competition categories—Excellence in Professional Innovation, Excellence in Community Engagement, and Excellence in Business Management – will be named the overall 2020 Pharmacy of the Year at the opening plenary session of APP2020 on the Gold Coast on Thursday, 19 March, at 8.30am.
The awards, sponsored by Care Pharmaceuticals and QCPP, recognise pharmacies that are leaders in providing innovative and optimal healthcare for members of their community.
Spokesperson for the judging group Nick Panayiaris, Pharmacy Guild of Australia National Councillor and President of the South Australian Branch of the Guild, said excellence in business management is critical for the future of any pharmacy business and Capital Chemist Chisholm displayed outstanding practices in this area.
“With this category we are looking at how the pharmacy is run and in particular we focus on areas such business planning/strategy, communication systems with customers and staff, stock control, retail management, marketing, management structure and human resources,” Mr Panayiaris said.
“We found Capital Chemist Chisholm met and exceeded benchmarks in these criteria while also constantly building and improving. The pharmacy has learnt from its past business challenges such as human resource issues, IT disasters or two recent burglaries,” he said.
“When presented with these challenges, the pharmacy team has worked together to overcome these issues and implemented new and improved strategies to help continued growth and innovation.”
Proprietor Rebecca Young said the pharmacy is committed to building and maintaining a committed team who love their work.
“Our staff love being involved in our Capital Chemist Community Matters program and our own Chisholm community activities,” she said.
“Through the Capital Chemist Community Matters program we contribute to about 40 charities, with focuses on health, education, sports and the arts. We also support many other local charities, schools, and sporting teams for various fund-raising activities and sponsorship.”
The pharmacy’s close involvement with the community is reflected in the success of its sleep apnoea service.
The provision of the Australian Pharmacy Sleep Service has proved to be so successful that the pharmacy became the top start-up pharmacy in Australia for the service within six months of implementing it.
Mrs Young said the service was rewarding from a business perspective and also from the benefits it provided patients.
“We have been able to help hundreds of patients with previously undiagnosed sleep apnoea as a result of introducing this service,” she said.
Mrs Young said the sleep apnoea service was just one of the pharmacy’s expanding range of professional services.
“This is part of our clearly defined business plan. In 2017 we had a major refit which enabled us to improve category performance and greatly increase our health services, with a second consultation room.
“We are in the process of negotiating more space to allow us to increase to three consultation rooms, further improve our workflow and increase automation in our business operations,” she said.
“We also have reviewed our trading hours and are now open most public holidays which has improved accessibility and meets our customer’s needs.”
Underpinning everything in the pharmacy are the staff.
“We have done a lot of work in the pharmacy and made a lot of changes and we always consult with the team and get their input into ideas and ways to continue improving what we do,” she said.
“Most of our team have been with us on our business management transformation. We have invested time and energy into explaining why any changes are made and they have been there to witness the outcomes, are proud of where we have come from and what we have achieved, and are excited about the future.”
Mrs Young said the culture of the team was very important to the pharmacy’s success.
“We believe our high retention rate of staff is attributed to an inclusive, supportive, flexible and motivated work place where the staff enjoy the people they work with, have fun, and most importantly, love our local community,” she said.
“In return I think our patients really appreciate the atmosphere and the high level of service they get when they walk into the pharmacy.
“The pharmacy has been here for 30 years and we still have original patients, some of whom come in weekly.
“Because of our staff’s close relationship with patients they know that whenever a patient comes in they get the same level of caring service and knowledge, which is a focus of our training.”
Care Pharmaceuticals’ General Manager Jonathan Biddle said the judging team looked at how the pharmacy had set and achieved business goals, as well as how it demonstrated strong leadership.
“The pharmacy proprietors have shown strong leadership by investing a great deal of time and energy into explaining to the whole pharmacy team why any changes are made and the staff have been there to witness the outcomes,” Mr Biddle said.
“This has helped the pharmacy meet its business goals while also meeting and exceeding the expectations of the communities it serves.
“In a field of remarkable pharmacies, Capital Chemist Chisholm stood out to be worthy winners of the Excellence in Business Management category.”