Why professional pharmacy services are the future: GuildCare winner

professional pharmacy services winners: Pease Street Discount Drug Store staff including managing pharmacist Aylin Ektem, right with curly hair

Professional pharmacy services such as MedsChecks will be vital for the sustainability of community pharmacy, says the managing pharmacist of GuildCare’s Pharmacy of the Year.

“Professional services are going to be one of most important things for the future and sustainability of community pharmacy,” says Aylin Ektem, from the Pease Street Discount Drug Store in Cairns.

The pharmacy recently took out the title of GuildCare Pharmacy of the Year for its effective use of and exemplary commitment to delivering the five GuildCare professional pharmacy services. This is the second year a DDS has won the award.

“Our role within the community is ensuring quality use of medicines as well as complementing medical practitioners and other health care professionals around us,” says Ektem.

“Services within community pharmacy have been growing and evolving rapidly within the last 10 years and will continue to do so.

“We implement several professional services at Pease Street Discount Drug Store where these services offered become unique to our pharmacy.

“Pharmacies need to move away from the old paradigm of product at a price as we can no longer rely on these types of views to keep our profession sustainable and further, profitable in the future,” she says.

“We must change with the changing times and the demands put upon our profession and pharmacies, be proactive instead of reactive.”

MedsChecks and Diabetes MedsChecks were the first professional services the pharmacy implemented, and Ektem says it’s these she’s proudest of.

“The reward after completing the service and knowing you’ve made a difference by recommendations made or just spending that one on one time with a patient is a great feeling,” she told the AJP.

“This professional service was the one that I had the most information and training on. It was also an easy professional service to get all pharmacists registered for which could further help us implement it across the entire store, and in fact within our group.

“Pease Street Discount Drug Store made it a priority to implement Medschecks into the routine of dispensing and counselling. We installed GuildCare onto all of our S3 and dispensary computers, educated all the staff as to what the programs are and what it means to the pharmacy.

“We worked diligently during busy periods to flag patients that qualified and took the time to introduce it to appropriate patients.

“Educating dispensary and back counter staff members on protocols and screening tools for Medschecks allowed for time me to see more patients and we were unified in our approach working as a team.”

Ektem says that she feels the DDS group is well suited to provide professional pharmacy services, as there’s a strong requirement for quality customer and community service.

“We have communication and visits from head office frequently in relation to how our store is tracking and professional services offered,” she says.

“This frequent communication and guidance helps us implement these services and remain unified across the whole group.”

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