After discovering there was a need for local mental health services, WA pharmacist Swarup Afsar built two consulting rooms and employed a psychologist and a counsellor.
Now, the Pharmacy Guild wants other pharmacies to follow his lead.
It has highlighted Mr Afsar’s initiative in its CP2025 action plan to help pharmacies tap into new revenue streams.
The action plan provides a check-list for four growth pathways: becoming a community hub, health services, digital enablement and business operations.
Pharmacies that don’t embrace working with other health professionals could be left with a reduced medicines role if other health care providers take the lead and incorporate pharmacists in their services, the Guild warns.
|Here are key messages from the CP2025 action plan:
- Talk to patients, GPs and other health professionals to identify unmet health needs in your area.
- Meet with local health professionals to ask if they are interested in sessional work.
- Focus on health areas that add value to your existing services and products.
- If you build a consulting room, make sure it meets the relevant clinical practice requirements.
- Research what currently inaccessible services are in high demand among patients. Talk to your patients, and analyse dispensing and sales data.
- Work out a budget, and plan what staff and infrastructure you’ll need to deliver health services.
- Run trials to test patient demand and potential pricing.
- Consider trialling extended hours or after-hours appointments.
- Have a plan to evaluate the services.
- Check that your pharmacy is listed on Google’s search engine by visiting google.com/business
- Ensure your pharmacy’ data is secure. Take out cyber insurance.
- Look into template websites and e-commerce offerings. Consider what stock you will sell online and how your webstore will integrate with the pharmacy’s POS.
- Develop a digital and social media plan and train staff.
- Observe workflows and review procedures to look for opportunities for improvement.
- Establish key indicators that measure the pharmacy’s performance against industry benchmarks.
- Consider if an expert business advisor would be beneficial.