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Australian Journal of Pharmacy : February 2005
Garden City Amcal Chemist: Garden City, Queensland T All the mod cons with an old-fashioned feel HIS new health and lifestyle pharmacy opened its doors last February next to a bulk- billing medical centre in one of the largest shopping centres in the Brisbane catchment area. Managing partner Bob Holland said the team’s focus is to deliver ‘the personal touch’. ‘We want to put the “community” back into the larger centres so that people feel like they belong,’ he said. He explained the team has a culture of ‘continuous care, continuous education and continuous improvement’. Mr Holland said the main advantage of quality care is that it is a manual full of systems that work. It was used to help get the store up and running and will be utilised to ensure the pharmacy ‘stays modern, has a fresh outlook and reaches top standards’. ‘The most important thing in any business is to measure what you do and complete that feedback so you actually know what you are doing and how to improve your results,’ he said. ‘Building the pharmacy from scratch meant the team was able to utilise every space and integrate the latest technology. A mezzanine area was created to house a staff room and large meeting room where health lectures are held. There are health information kiosks for customers and eight terminals, programmed so staff can hot-key between using the point of sale and dispensing. From at least four terminals, pharmacists can talk to customers, input their data and work from the front while the tech’s assemble a lot of the products at the back.’ ‘It’s much more important that chemists work close to the customers so you can hear what’s going on. People come and seek you out, people know you and that is your point of difference,’ he said. Maddi Parker Soul Pattinson Chemist: Warilla, NSW Where mum’s the word OT only does Maddi Parker own a busy pharmacy, she has three- year-old twins, a 10-month- old baby, another baby due in April and an 18-year-old stepson. N The pharmacy, with a dedicated staff of 25, is open six days a week: ‘My customers understand that my family comes first on Sundays,’ Ms Parker said. Situated in a regional shopping centre in a working class suburb south of Wollongong, the pharmacy’s demographic is pensioners and young mums. ‘Our priority is to focus on our customers and their needs,’ Ms Parker said. ¦ ‘That includes picking up prescriptions when they can’t get out and buying the meat next door for them and dropping it home if they are sick. It gets right down to knowing our customers that well,’ she said. The business has grown every month since Ms Parker acquired it in 1999. The store was re-fitted 12 months ago, which gave Ms Parker the opportunity to implement designs which fitted in with her ‘people first’ ethos. Going against everybody’s strong opinion, she put tills in the front and back—the idea being when people buy their medicines they actually get served all the way through by the same staff member. All customers are now also a hand’s breadth away from the pharmacist. The cough and cold and analgesic sections are behind the till so that staff can intervene on every sale. Pharmacist-only, diabetes and smoking cessation sections surround a counselling table, which is also used by a baby health nurse who visits once a week. ‘Quality care has helped provide a very firm structure in which to run our business and it has provided me with terrific guidelines and a very high standard to aspire to,’ Ms Parker said. Health Information Pharmacy Lindisfarne: Lindisfarne, Tasmania Everything is in order members are on duty.’ P ART of the philosophy behind the development and direction of Health Information Pharmacy (HIP) Lindisfarne is summed up by Michael E Gerber in The E- Myth Revisited: ‘…it is an irrepressible fact that in a world of chaos, most people crave order...A business that looks orderly says to your customer that he can trust in the result delivered and assures your people that they can trust in their future with you.’ Therefore, says owner Theresa Niekrasz: ‘We strive to maintain consistency in the professional service extended to our customers and to foster a sense of order and security, no matter which staff As a smaller pharmacy, Theresa and her husband Jerry (a chef by trade and now a trained pharmacy assistant) pride themselves on the personal attention given to all of their customers. Their vision is a pharmacy that is a true healthcare destination; a first port of call for the community that not only dispenses medications but offers advice, information and referrals. ‘We feel it is vital to provide service that is above the customer’s expectations,’ she said. When Ms Niekrasz took over the pharmacy two-and-a-half years ago, her first priority was systemisation: ‘I like everything to be in order’. The team used HIP and quality care as a basis to develop, implement and document 94 standard operating procedures (SOPs) that form an operations manual: ‘A “how we do it” book for all staff, permanent or locums.’ The pharmacy also has systems for tracking each team member’s performance, adherence to systems and encouraging the provision of information. ¦ ¦