McCarthy’s Pharmacy Orange, Lords Place, Orange, is one of five finalists in the Guild’s Pharmacy of the Year Award.
Changes in the pharmacy industry, as well as changes in customer expectations and increased competition, have been met head-on by McCarthy’s Pharmacy in Orange, NSW.
Pharmacist in Charge Nathan Wood says that like all other pharmacies, McCarthy’s has been challenged by these changes, but it sees opportunities in them as well.
“We are not a pharmacy to just see these challenges and run away from them,” he says.
“We see our future in being part of our local community and ensuring we offer a full range of professional services that ensures our customers can receive the best health options no matter where they live.”
The “where they live” phrase is a key to the pharmacy’s success. If the ‘customers can’t come to you, then you go to them’ belief has seen the pharmacy develop a specialised mobile service to ensure as many in the community can be reached as possible.
“We have introduced the EasyClinic mobile service which sees a pharmacist or a nurse visit community groups such as senior citizens groups, playgroups or gyms,” he says.
“This allows us to talk to customers wherever they are and in social or community groups that they are comfortable in. It offers our customers a way of engaging with their health in an easy and relaxed way.
“Importantly, it normalises the health conversation and helps community groups see the importance of improving their health outcomes in conjunction with our pharmacy.
“Our motto is to help customers to Live Life Well. To do that we need to help customers where they are and sometimes that means we need to go to them.”
Wood says the pharmacy also has a range of other community engagement activities and one of the most popular is the mothers’ group.
“We get up to 40 people together to hear advice about being a parent,” he says.
“It’s relaxed and people feel comfortable. With the amount of stress parents are under, it’s great to help parents feel better about their children and the different stages they are in. It’s a very rewarding activity for everyone. We are very proud of this activity.”
Business Manager Peita Whiley says community meetings are also held in the pharmacy and a feature of these is the involvement of other allied health professionals to give customers and patients as much health information and advice as possible.
“We conduct regular health evenings in our pharmacy with allied health professionals present and these include sessions presented by physiotherapists, dieticians, diabetes educators, nurses, naturopaths, wellness educators and fitness advisers,” she says.
Whiley says these sessions allow the team to spend more time informing customers of their health options and the services available in their local community.
These activities have also highlighted the importance of offering customers something above and beyond the usual pharmacy services.
Whiley says while the local pharmacy is important to the local community and individual health outcomes, people are time poor and to create an environment where people could learn about their health in a social and relaxed manner increases customer loyalty and the health of customers.
“Helping customers isn’t always about waiting to see who will come through the door; it’s also about helping customers to know what we can do for them every single day of the year.”