Medication supply and education will always form part of the core business at Moama Pharmacy in NSW, but over recent years it has made a conscious choice to diversify its services.
Co-proprietor Clint Flanigan said this diversification meant it now specialised in some key areas to meet the changing requirements of the industry.
“This also means we provide greater job satisfaction for staff, and while meet the demographic health needs of our patients and our region,” he said.
“Armed with this knowledge, we established that our pharmacy was best-placed to facilitate chronic healthcare programs, and to reduce our emphasis on screening.
“Our greatest transformation has been within our sleep apnoea services.
“Our goal was to expand our existing offering to become ‘a sleep centre within a pharmacy’ rather than ‘a chemist that sells sleep apnoea equipment’. We have very successfully achieved this aim.”
Mr Flanigan, who has been a partner for 10 years with fellow proprietors Jillian Hamit and Mary-Lou McDonald, said that the pharmacy’s ability to better service the critical needs of patients had helped to improve trust and patient loyalty.
This was reciprocated in the pharmacy’s committed engagement with its community.
“Our slogan 'Time for you' has been used to consistently reinforce our ethos of professional, personalised service.
“At Moama Pharmacy community is at the core of absolutely everything we do.
“As a community health hub that provides trusted and vital services to a small regional area we believe our business can have a significant impact on the people within our community. This is not only achieved through the services we provide to our direct patients, but also through the large number of local clubs, charity organisations and events to which we provide sponsorship and support.”
The commitment to community engagement is more than just a token financial gesture of support.
“Both our pharmacist partners, along with all our staff, live within the community and have a vested interest in maintaining and improving the health and wellbeing of our community on a broader level,” Mr Flanigan said.
“As a collective, we believe it is part of our role to give back in order to make our town a great place for everyone to work and live.”
The importance of future-proofing a pharmacy by understanding and adapting to change within the industry is a driving philosophy behind Moama Pharmacy’s strategy to ensure its long-term viability.
In addition, the NSW pharmacy recognises the importance of investing to secure the future.
Mr Flanigan said that historically the pharmacy’s role had been medication supply and education.
“This will remain central to our core provision of services, but we understand the importance of adapting to change, diversifying and evolving our business model,” he said.
“Aligning our pharmacy brand with our patient offering and leveraging our competitive advantages has become part of this adaptation.
“Diversification has also been key, which has in turn created opportunities for professional growth and greater job satisfaction, with a hugely beneficial flow-on effect to all our patients.”
Mr Flanigan said that identifying key service areas that the pharmacy could specialise in, and that would truly benefit patients, was key to its viability.
“And we are not talking about things that just look good in marketing campaigns,” Mr Flanigan said.
“Adapting our services to our community requirements and needs is the most important aspect of future proofing our long-term viability.”
Mr Flanigan stressed that the pharmacy as a business was always wary of those who claimed to specialise in all areas and then fell short in delivering what they promised.
While it might seem impressive to advertise a business as being across ‘everything’ it was impractical and there was a concern that patients would not benefit at all due to limitations of training and staffing.
“When it comes to our advertising campaigns, consideration around patient engagement and information is essential to manage changing business expectations,” he said.
“One of our key strategies moving forward is the continued development of directed patient marketing pathways including well-thought-out and professional social media marketing, Google AdWords and remarketing.
“In addition, we have worked to adapt to the constantly changing trends of digital media and how this is used by all demographics. For example, the fact that more than 40 per cent of our Facebook followers are more than 60 years of age has been a key consideration when developing more targeted digital strategies including direct loyalty email, Facebook advertising and Google shopping and ad-words.
“We have always been willing to embrace digital enablement, and work tirelessly to integrate digital health into our pharmacy and to embrace latest technologies as a whole-of-business approach.”