Small country pharmacy embraces Health Advice Plus program and quickly benefits

Blog Post

Date: 20 April 2017

Knowing what to do, but not how to do it to make her pharmacy more efficient was the driving force behind Sue-Anne Corcoran of Boorowa Pharmacy joining the Health Advice Plus program.

And the positive results in a very short time have underscored the wisdom of making that decision.

Ms Corcoran said she and the pharmacy staff of the 1200-person town in NSW realised they needed some help with work-flow management.

“We were on board with the Fifth and Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreements and we were going quite well for a while but we suddenly got busier; we took on more WebsterPaks and we were doing more scripts because we got new doctors in town,” she said.

“Suddenly we found we couldn’t maintain the rage so to speak and found we couldn’t do MedsChecks and Clinical Interventions to the extent that we would have liked to.

“We just couldn’t find the time to fit them into our workflow.”

Ms Corcoran said she attended the Pharmacy Connect conference in Sydney where she became a convert to the Health Advice Plus program.

“I spoke to the Health Advice Plus people and thought: ‘These people sound like the go. They might save me.’ And they have.

“What it took was for an outsider to identify what we already knew but they just showed us how to free up some time.

“We achieved this by changing our WebsterPak packing system and that freed up a lot of time. We also started doing our clinical interventions in a slightly different way.

“Those two bits of guidance were solid gold.”

Ms Corcoran says the other great strength of the program was the guidance and mentoring provided.

“We needed an overseer. You can plan to do things but often don’t actually get around to doing them but if you know someone is going to ring you in two weeks to see how you are going with the plan, then somehow that gets you over the line,” she said.

“Just having a person ring every couple of weeks and ask how I was going was the little push that I needed. But more than that they provided me with good ideas and advice.

“Having a mentor and the program also reinvigorated us. We are in a country town and are really isolated from the rest of the profession so it’s hard for us to benchmark against other pharmacies.

“We don’t have other pharmacies in town that we can have a mystery walk around their shop; we don’t have any that we can ring up and compare things with.

“So the program has brought us up to date with people who know what’s going on in the profession.

“Also I am not in a buying group or banner group where you often get some help and advice on these sorts on matters and ways to access some of the services and information I needed.”

The need to keep up to date with developments in the profession has also been met by the program.

“The profession is in the process of very rapid change and it’s quite scary. But it’s important to keep up with that change and keep abreast of developments. I’m a great believer in get on the boat and sail with it or you get left behind.

“So that’s what we’re trying to do through Health Advice Plus.

“To someone thinking about joining the program I would just say: ‘Get on board.’ For instance for me it wasn’t that I didn’t know what had to be done; it was working out how to do it.

“And for a small country pharmacy it was good to be able to talk to someone about your ideas and how you were going.”

She said she would recommend the program to anyone.

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Page last updated 02 May 2017