November 2, 2014
UTS survey shows support for greater focus on pharmacist professional services
The pharmacy profession remains pessimistic about its future, but sees opportunities for a greater focus on professional services in the next Community Pharmacy Agreement, according to the latest UTS Pharmacy Barometer.
The barometer, on which a score of 100 represents neutral confidence, showed that in October 2013 after a year of price disclosures, the confidence sat at 61.2, down from 86 in November 2012. The figure has risen slightly to 68.9 this year.
Chief Executive Officer of PSA, Dr Lance Emerson, said the barometer showed support for increased Community Pharmacy Agreement (CPA) funds to be committed to professional pharmacist services.
“This view is aligned with the PSA 6CPA paper released recently, which calls for a greater focus on the provision of professional services,” Dr Emerson said.
“Significantly, the barometer also found 75 per cent of respondents saw professional pharmacist services as the greatest future opportunity. The problem is there has been a decline in federal government funding for them, from 4.9% (4CPA), to 4.1% in the current CP.
“The PSA 6CPA member discussion paper calls for much stronger focus and funding for professional pharmacist services – this is supported by our 18,000 members and affirmed in the UTS survey.
“The UTS report also shows that two-thirds of pharmacists supported a variable dispensing fee based on the amount of patient interaction.
“This supports PSA’s discussion paper which proposes a variable fee based on patient interaction. Dispensing should be seen as a part of continuum of pharmacist services, with remuneration based on the time pharmacists spend with the patient,” Dr Emerson said.
However, Dr Emerson said that he was deeply concerned that two-thirds of owners, managers and pharmacists-in-charge intended to replace lost revenue by cutting staff costs.
“There is a better option, and PSA’s Heath Destination Pharmacy model, to be released soon, offers a solution that includes a non-dispensing pharmacist in the pharmacy,” he said.
The pilot of this program shows this model met consumer’s needs but also resulted in significantly increased profits, mainly through non-government funds. The model relies entirely on professional pharmacist input, with the staff and business system focus on health and minor ailment services.
“So rather than reduce staff numbers, the Heath Destination Pharmacy model helps re-focus them. I would encourage pharmacists to register interest for the next stage of Health Destination Pharmacy to ensure a more financially sustainable, health focused consumer service,” Dr Emerson said
October 28, 2014
Campaign highlights services provided by pharmacists
The launch of a public advertising campaign highlighting the range of professional services being delivered by Australia’s pharmacists has been welcomed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia campaign, “Discover more. Ask your pharmacist” encourages Australians to learn more about the services provided by pharmacists.
National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said the campaign highlighted the need for a greater emphasis to be placed on professional services in the next Community Pharmacy Agreement.
“As detailed in the PSA 6CPA discussion paper released a few weeks ago, pharmacist professional programs funding, as a proportion of total CPA funds has actually declined from 4.9% (4CPA), to 4.1% in the current CPA,” Mr Kardachi said.
“If we are to see more of the services detailed in the advertising campaign, then this amount will need to significantly increase.
“Some of the services focused on in the advertising campaign are among the areas which PSA has long advocated, and are critical to improving patient health outcomes.
”I’m pleased to see the campaign picks up on PSA’s previous Federal Budget submission on the need for transitional care from hospital to after-hospital care to provide better care for patients during this critical time.
Mr Kardachi said that not every pharmacy currently delivered all the services detailed in the advertising campaign, and that an urgent focus was needed to help pharmacies transition to a health-focused and more financially stable model of pharmacist care.
“PSA has developed a solution to help pharmacies move toward this “health hub” model through the Health Destination Pharmacy program pilot.
“The Health Destination Pharmacy pilot showed significant professional and business improvements for the pharmacies involved, and most importantly, improved patient satisfaction and health outcomes.”
The next stage of Health Destination Pharmacy program, incorporating results and lessons from the pilot, would be launched in the near future.
“This program will offer great advantages for the pharmacist and consumer and I look forward to the next Community Pharmacy Agreement providing adequate and sustainable funding for professional service provision which is the basis of the program.”
October 24, 2014
PSA vaccination training course granted national accreditation
PSA has gained national accreditation with the Australian Skills Quality Authority for the PSA vaccination training used in the highly successful Queensland Pharmacist Immunisation Pilot (QPIP).
The course – APPIMM806A Manage the delivery and administration of injections and immunisations – also forms part of the exclusivePSA Graduate Diploma of Applied Pharmacy Practice.
National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said the recognition by the Australian Skills Quality Authority was testament to the quality and robustness of the PSA training.
“The PSA training program has been successfully used in the QPIP and was modelled on, and adapted from, pharmacist-specific training used overseas and locally by a total of more than 150,000 pharmacists,” Mr Kardachi said.
“The feedback from QPIP was extremely positive, with participants stressing that they not only enjoyed the workshop but also were confident in their skills to vaccinate.
“This training reflects PSA’s commitment to providing high-quality competency-based training for our members, one that sets the benchmark for the whole of the profession.”
Completion of PSA’s nationally accredited vaccination training course gives pharmacists the bonus of one unit towards the PSAGraduate Diploma of Applied Pharmacy Practice.
PSA is the only pharmacist training organisation that provides pharmacists with this added benefit.
“The Graduate Diploma gives pharmacists everything they need to move their careers or businesses forward. It also provides pharmacists with an articulation pathway into a Master of Business Administration and other postgraduate qualifications,” Mr Kardachi said.
“I invite pharmacists to register their Expression of Interest for this proven training by sending their details to email@example.com.
“We will keep you up to date with the training developments and also with other issues of interest in this exciting new area of practice.”
October 22, 2014
PSA congratulates recipients of Innovative Pharmacist of the Year Award
A team comprising three PSA officials has won this year’s prestigious Innovative Pharmacist of the Year Award.
The Queensland Pharmacist Immunisation Implementation Pilot team, led by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s Queensland President, Professor Lisa Nissen, was named as the recipient of the prestigious University of Technology Sydney Innovative Pharmacist of the Year award at a function held in Sydney last night.
The team is made up of Professor Nissen; Chris Campbell, Professional Services Pharmacist at Terry White Management; Michelle Rosenthal, PSA Queensland Branch Director; and Megan Del Dot, PSA Queensland Branch pharmacist.
The QPIP Pilot was a key health initiative run as a collaboration with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia Queensland Branch.
National President of PSA, Grant Kardachi, who attended the awards ceremony, said the award was a deserving recognition for the work the team had put in ensuring the success of the pilot program.
“The QPIP team developed and implemented a world class pilot program in Queensland that achieved outstanding results,” Mr Kardachi said.
“Their program is now being seen as a foundation for similar programs across other States and Territories in Australia.
“The award is a testament to the commitment and dedication of the QPIP team in developing and implementing this pilot which saw some 10,000 people in Queensland receive vaccinations from pharmacists.”
Mr Kardachi said PSA and the Guild had been the driving forces behind the pilot.
“We saw quite obvious public health benefits in the program and the initial data backs this up with some 10,000 people receiving vaccinations through the program,” he said.
“The vast majority of these people would not otherwise have been vaccinated.
“I congratulate all members of the team, and everyone involved in the pilot, for their success and on being named Innovative Pharmacist of the Year.
“This program is indeed innovative in that it opens up the provision of vaccinations to more people while also presenting new areas of practice opportunity for pharmacists.”
October 21, 2014
Qld pharmacist immunisation pilot team wins national award
The Queensland Pharmacist Immunisation Pilot implementation team, led by Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Queensland President Professor Lisa Nissen, has won the prestigious University of Technology Sydney Innovative Pharmacist of the Year award.
The QPIP Pilot was a key initiative run as a collaboration with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia Queensland Branch, led by Tim Logan. The professional groups combined to facilitate this important professional initiative.
The implementation team is made up of Professor Nissen; Chris Campbell, Professional Services Pharmacist for the Terry White Group; Michelle Rosenthal, PSA Queensland Branch Director; and Megan Del Dot, PSA Queensland Branch pharmacist.
The QPIP was chosen ahead of a strong field of contenders for the award which was presented at a dinner in Sydney tonight.
Professor Nissen said she and the other members of the team were honoured by the recognition of their work.
“The pilot has been an overwhelming success, so much so that we are entering Phase II in Queensland while a number of other jurisdictions across Australia are now following suit,” Professor Nissen said.
“The figures speak for themselves with more than 10,000 vaccinations being completed during the pilot held across Queensland.
“In addition, recipients expressed overwhelming satisfaction with the service and the professional manner in which the vaccinations were provided. Importantly, a significant number of patients had never had a vaccination before, or did not receive one every year. It has certainly been a success by any measure.”
Professor Nissen said the pilot showed that having pharmacists performing vaccinations had important and very demonstrable public health benefits.
“The accessibility of pharmacists as trusted members of the healthcare team has ensured that many patients are now protected.This is an important program and I am exceptionally proud of the whole team who developed and implemented it,” Professor Nissen said.
“The pilot received a lot of criticism and some unjustifiable attacks as we sought to implement this important health initiative, but our success shows pharmacists are certainly up to the task and we are all proud of what we have achieved.
“The team overcame obstacles to arrive at a goal of vaccinating people who may otherwise not have been protected against diseases and the fact that the Queensland Government has extended the program is testament to its robustness and efficacy.”