Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist Oct 2013 Contents Australian Pharmacist October 2013 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd. 57
Continuing Professional Development
If Matthew did not meet the eligibility
criteria for a Medicare remunerated
service such as MedsCheck, you can offer
this, or a similar service on a user pays
basis. He must consent to the agreed
payment. You cannot make any claim for
remuneration to Medicare for providing
the service to an ineligible person.
Pharmacy managers should always
consider if offering services for a fee
would be viable for their customer base.
Consumers willing to pay for such a
service may not be a large sample group,
but should never be ruled out without
due consideration, as this may be a
missed business opportunity. It never
hurts to 'test the waters'. Relying solely on
government remunerated services may
not be a wise long term business choice.
Plan for successful
For any service provided in the pharmacy,
it is essential to develop a business plan.
Service provision in the pharmacy must
use streamlined practices to ensure
financial viability and benefits for
customers. The PSA document 'Useful tips
for pharmacists providing MedsCheck and
Diabetes MedsCheck services' covers the
following main eight areas:
1. Consider when to offer services.
2. Raise awareness of the service.
3. Encourage and enable staff to
recruit eligible consumers to
4. Engage pharmacy support staff to
manage the service.
5. Work with local health professionals.
6. Prepare for each consultation by
anticipating questions and issues.
7. Consider pathways to other
8. Follow-up with consumers.
Sta training and team work
Training the entire pharmacy staff
is essential to effectively implement
these services. The whole pharmacy
team should be involved in identifying
consumers who will potentially benefit
from the services, easing the burden
on the pharmacist staff and creating a
more sustainable and profitable service.
To efficiently provide professional
services in community pharmacy, it is
recognised that the pharmacist should
aim to delegate as many non-essential
tasks as possible, to free their time for
'patient-centred care' activities.
Before implementing the service, it is
advisable to hold a staff training and
information session. During this session
identify suitably qualified and capable
staff to assist with:
• maintaining the consultation area
• preparing draft documentation for
consultations, e.g. medicine lists
• filing, maintaining and storing
• claiming and payment for the
• ensuring access to current
medical devices and consumer
• ensuring access to relevant forms
and procedures including QCPP and
professional practice standards
• managing enquiries and complaints
• following up and managing bookings.
When planning to provide this service
it should be recognised that Medicare
payment is not the only benefit to the
pharmacy. Pharmacists have traditionally
complained of 'never having enough
time' for tasks other than the core role of
dispensing medicines and counselling.
Using a 'whole of team' approach
can, through planning (including
ongoing review of processes), increase
the business success of providing
If you fail to plan you plan to fail...oh and
don't forget to reflect on your process.
Bene ts to the pharmacy
The benefits to the pharmacy of these
• direct remuneration
• improving patient quality of life by
engaging their active participation in
improving their health outcomes.
Setting aside time to inform the relevant
allied health providers in your area
should be seen as a courtesy. GPs, for
example, would prefer not to be 'put on
the spot' by a patient informing them of
a service they have received. The GP may
not understand the intent of the service.
Collaboration, including discussing
how to work with relevant health care
providers to fill gaps in care should be an
integral part of your planning.
During MedsCheck and Diabetes
MedsCheck services, pharmacists:
• ask consumers about their concerns
and beliefs about their medicines
• assess medication adherence
• assess education needs including
providing written information to
support improved understanding
and use of medicines
• provide education and guidance
on correct use of medication/
• discuss management of chronic
condition(s) including lifestyle
factors related to medicine use and
• attempt to resolve any drug-related
problems that have been identified
from the information available at the
time of providing the service.
Matthew's new medicine
Matthew has presented with a new
prescription for Lomotil. His dose of
metformin has recently been increased
and this can cause diarrhoea. You discuss
the cause of the diarrhoea with Matthew.
He doesn't think his metformin is causing
this problem, but he seems somewhat
confused about a few issues. You suggest
to him that he may benefit from having
a MedsCheck appointment to learn
more about his medicines. You briefly
describe the process to him and he seems
interested. You check his eligibility using
the eligibility-screening tool. He is really
keen to have the appointment today.
He goes home to collect his medicines
and returns to the pharmacy, as there is a
second pharmacist on duty.
If you feel the consumer would benefit
from having the service immediately,
use examples of his medicines
from the dispensary, as well as any
over-the-counter and complementary
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