EDITORIAL for Monday 15 February, 2016

Welcome to this weeks’ edition of i2P (Information to Pharmacists) E-Magazine dated Monday 15 February 2016.
Time is running out for Australian Pharmacy and one of the main reasons is that disruptive technologies are enabling pharmacy’s predators to become quicker on their feet and chip away larger “chunks” of pharmacy territory.
Our predators have one absolute goal – they want to own pharmacy in its totality and they want it run as a global entity.

Different predators have different aspirations.
The supermarkets just want to see us as another department.
The innovative supermarket of Walmart – the one that has Australian Roger Corbett as a director (the same person now providing mentoring services to the Woolworths board and senior management) sees pharmacy as the centre of its supermarket strategy creating a web-like introduction to all other departments that can be labelled “health”.
They want to be a “health destination store” – sound familiar?

Government is a different form of predator – they see pharmacy as a link in their health delivery policy that has to be continually squeezed until there is nothing left.
Then they simply invite others to take over the exhausted infrastructure and happily sit back and watch the costs escalate as their “big business” friends take over and try to emulate best practice.
It never works because government never values the “human capital” in the equation and they see big business as being more efficient because to get big they had to be supposedly well-managed to get there.
When you review the behaviour of some of these entities, including banks, drug companies, agricultural companies and the like they all have the appearance of belonging to a Mafia family.

Underlying all successful enterprise is creativity and innovation.
Successful entrepreneurs are continually innovating, and that’s how they arrive at their desired status.

The clock is running out for Australian pharmacy because there has been little innovation seen in the business cycle just finished in 2012, and that leaves pharmacy stuck in a rut today because we don’t have a framework that encourages creativity and innovation.
Many pharmacists, particularly young pharmacists, are voicing their frustration openly on an forum they can access, wondering what their future will be.
If we lose our future talent we lose our “heart”.

When I see awards given to pharmacists as being “Innovator of the Year Award” then I know we will be back on track.

So in this weeks’ edition we have a focus on – you guessed it – creativity and innovation.

Mark Coleman introduces a new disruptive tool produced by a company called Cinematique.
Basically, it can overlay a YouTube production with a technology they call “pins”.
This has the effect of making the video touch sensitive where “pins” have been applied.
Access is through smart phones, notepads and PC’s but the technology is designed for you to be able to deliver complex information in list format to a remote customer or patient.
Mark Coleman describes its pharmacy application in the article Disruptive Technology for Patient Engagement.

Peter Sayers is back with an update on walk-in clinics in the US, which are going from strength to strength and wonders why Australian pharmacy lags.
In this article he illustrates the crossover that these clinics provide as they now begin to fill gaps in emergency health – something that i2P has begun to illustrate as a good reason for Australian pharmacy Location Rules.
Read The Evolution of the Walk-In Clinic to Urgent Care Clinic.

An article titled Creativity and Innovation – In Pharmacy, both may need an injection is introduced as being the primary cause for pharmacy malaise and drab culture.
If innovation can take root within pharmacy culture, will quickly drive pharmacy in the right direction.
But it also takes “guts” – a quality which is again in short supply within the wider area of the profession.
Harvey Mackay recognises this quality as having courage within your chosen vocation and has contributed an article titled Courage is an everyday virtue.
And he makes some good points.

Patient engagement is a “buzz word” that is doing the rounds and can mean different things to different people.
Patient engagement occurs at a number of touch points that eventually involve a personal interaction, even if it begins remotely through a system like Critique, noted in our first article.
Patient sensitivities have to be observed throughout the process, even down to the form of salutation involved.
Read all about it in Patient Engagement – Start With The Salutation.

While we wait for the political and legal processes to catch up with patient choice in the hotly disputed debate on childhood vaccination, pharmacists who are engaging with vaccination services still have to consider informed patient consent to minimise professional liability.
A workaround that could be offered to patients is contained in the article Vaccinations, Vitamin C, and “Choice” which comes from clinical nutrition research.
This valuable form of medical science underlies the discipline of “Integrative Medicine” which is a natural format for pharmacists to develop into.
We once had our own college of advanced clinical nutrition – whatever caused it to close down?

And we finish up this weeks edition with media releases from pharmacy leadership organisations:

PSA – PSA Media Releases – 1. Tasmanian Pharmacists First Flu Vaccinations 2. Medicinal Cannabis Important First Step

ASMI – ASMI Media Release – ASMI’s 2016 pre-Budget submission urges regulatory reforms to incentivise investment and innovation

NPS – NPS Media Release – Choosing Wisely: The Next Wave

Enjoy your read and use the information to become creative and innovative.

Neil Johnston
i2P E-Magazine
Monday, 15 February, 2016

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