CP2025 Champion In-Home Care

Date: 23 January 2019

The provision of in-home pharmacy services is an area most community pharmacies need to examine as a potential for future growth.

Jason Harvey’s pharmacies have been focussing on this area for some time and he sees it as a natural progression in the evolution of community pharmacy.

“The first thing we need to do is have the pharmacists step away from behind the dispensary counter and embrace the delivery of a wide range of professional services for our patients,” he said.

“Getting out from the dispensary means we are in a much better position to build better, stronger and more meaningful relationships with our patients and the community.

“We are making ourselves unique and attractive to customers and also to potential employees.

“And of course building these relationships with customers has a natural flow-on to the provision of in-home services.”

Jason acknowledges that in-home services are not currently a high priority for many pharmacies.

“The reality is that we as a profession don’t really do a lot in relation to in-home care for patients at present. We do a lot of other things but in-home care has not generally been on the radar for most community pharmacies.

“But the environment is changing and the ageing population is also having a major impact.

“We are seeing more and more people who just cannot get to the pharmacy. We have to accept the fact that we are in an industry where many people can’t always come in and access the pharmacy service in their traditional form so we have to adapt to meet their needs.

“So what we have to do is provide services where we can meet people in their homes and give them the services they would normally be able to get at the pharmacy itself.”

Jason says these can range from everyday services such as blood pressure checks and glucose monitoring through to medicines reviews and other more involved professional services.

“The important fact to remember is that these patients may not be mobile and can’t get to the pharmacy.

“But they may be used to accessing all these services in the past and still want them.

“We can’t make the mistake of assuming that the services we deliver every day in-house aren’t important to them simply because they can’t come into the pharmacy.

“Most people can just walk into a pharmacy and get these services but for those who can’t, being able to take the service to them is a huge benefit.”

Jason says one area of in-home care is the provision of equipment for patients in these circumstances.

“Having their local pharmacist, who they know and trust, able to provide the in-home care equipment they need is a big load off the minds of many of these patients.

“Often their whole life circumstances have changed, in many cases dramatically, and everything we can do to help them is a positive for us and for them.”

Jason says even home delivery can make a huge difference to these patients and he has a fulltime delivery person meeting this need.

He also firmly believes that doing nothing in the area of in-home care is not an option.

“If we don’t provide these services we will simply face the danger of getting left behind. We will get overrun by the online retailers.

“People have spent their lives coming into the pharmacy and are used to accessing the pharmacy services. They still want to have those services when they can’t get into the pharmacy store.

“It’s up to us to adapt and change to make sure these people’s needs are met.”

Jason Harvey, a community pharmacist, is a partner in Outback Pharmacies in Broken Hill

Contact: The Guild
Phone: 13GUILD

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