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The right model: Moodie's Pharmacy

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The right model: Moodie's Pharmacy

The development of professional services has given one pharmacy the scope to expand and integrate into the wider primary healthcare system.

 Paul Jones, owner of Moodie's Pharmacy in the central west NSW town of Bathurst, can provide an insider's guide to the establishment and ongoing management of professional services.  

"You need two pharmacists as you can't do professional services and check scripts but I also think pharmacies will need to amalgamate and get bigger -- sometimes it can take you 30-40 minutes to do a service," Mr Jones said.  

"The big three for pharmacies looking to expand into professional services are to have a consultation room, two pharmacists and to ensure you have software like GuildCare to record it," he said.  

"You need to be able to record it. We are open 70 hours a week, but I only work 45 hours a week. By recording it systematically, other pharmacists can look and see what you did with the customer. It means you are able to provide the same continuity of care."  

No resting on laurels

Despite winning the 2015 Pharmacy of the Year Innovation in Professional Services title, Mr Jones said he still has unfinished business in the professional services space.  

"There are others we want to expand into but we need to come up with a business model. That's what I always look at. How are they funded and what the return on it is because if there is no commercial return then it's not worth doing," Mr Jones said.  

"We have considered doing the flu vaccinations. We did a clinic with a nurse this year, but now we need to decide who we want to get trained to do it and how we do it. Do we run a clinic or accept walk-ins off the street?"   

Mr Jones and his staff currently offer a number of professional services in store -- some of the more common ones as well as more specialised programs.  

"We do blood pressure and blood sugar checks, sleep apnoea, diabetes, weight loss, carbon monoxide readings for smokers and we also do a drug and alcohol program which some people might know as a Methadone suboxone program."

From the beginning  

The development of services in the pharmacy were a legacy from its previous owner.

"We took over the pharmacy in 2003. The previous owner was diabetic and had a below the knee amputation due to complications from the disease. He was so good with diabetic patients and had a good following so it grew from there," Mr Jones explained.

"We converted an office into a consultation room in 2004 and then we did a shop fit in 2009 so we wrote a list of what we wanted to do and considered our branding."   

"The biggest challenge for us is how do we get consumers to pay for the services. You can't be reliant on the government. If you can provide patients with a service they see as valuable and if you can provide them with something tangible at the end of the service, like a print out of results which you measured over time they will see you are making a difference to their health.

"Then they will actually pay for it. We look at the pharmacist's time as a $1 a minute, so $60 per hour."   

If we do cholesterol checks and diabetes testing for someone we will usually charge them $25-$15 worth of consumables and 10 minutes worth of time pharmacist's time."  

Mr Jones sees the 6CPA funding boost as the beginning of the holistic integration of health services.

"I think this is really important if they put some of the extra $600 million into providing IT support for actually making patient controlled e-health records more accessible and more useable, so all the services that pharmacy do feed into that and other healthcare professionals can see it," he said.

This story originally appeared in the June/July issue of Pharmacy News


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