The latest results from the Guild’s Customers Experience Index show that consumers are readily embracing expanding professional services delivered by pharmacists, says Victorian Branch president Anthony Tassone.
The Index showed that consumers rate blood pressure testing as the service they use most, followed by diabetes services and the provision of vaccinations.
“These latest results really validate and confirm previous consumer surveys, where consumers show they trust their pharmacists, are satisfied with the services provided in community pharmacy and are really open to the possibility of them delivering more services for their health,” Tassone says.
“In terms of vaccination, there’s an acknowledgement by government in legislating for pharmacists to be able to deliver influenza vaccination and in some states whooping cough and measles vaccination.
“It’s a real acknowledgement by government around the benefits that pharmacist-administered vaccination can provide for public health and increasing herd immunity in the community, and we’re now seeing the community themselves embracing this service because of its convenience and accessibility.”
The results bode well for the just-launched Pharmacy Diabetes Screening Trial, Tassone says.
“Diabetes services were cited in the survey as one of the top-rated services pharmacists are delivering: they have a high level of satisfaction and trust in the pharmacist being able to play some role there.”
Consumers feel pharmacies respect their privacy, the index found, contrary to concerns expressed by some stakeholder organisations.
“I think it’s extremely important that commentators on health and pharmacy-related issues return to a source of truth, being the consumer’s view in the consumer’s voice,” he says.
“It’s important that when we are reporting a consumer view that we return to an actual analysis of their views, rather than an organisation view that might not necessarily reflect real consumers’ views.”
The results also showed that:
- 98% of customers said pharmacy staff respected their privacy;
- 97% agreed that pharmacy staff understood their health conditions;
- 93% of customers agreed that pharmacy staff ensured non-prescription medicine was safe for them;
- 95% of customers agreed that pharmacy staff provided medicine information to support their health needs; and
- 96% of customers reported that pharmacy staff offered assistance and asked questions to clarify their needs.
One thousand pharmacies around Australia visited to have their customer experience personally assessed through more than 8,000 interviews with patients as they left the store.
Other findings were that additional services which rated highly with awareness of consumers included dose administration aids, blood glucose testing, in-pharmacy medicines reviews, and weight loss and weight management.
The main services to feature on the index were recognised by some 80% of customers, the Index found.