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How to streamline clinical operations and meet patient demand

With the increase in patient consultations and clinical services in general, the role of community pharmacists is evolving and now plays a much bigger role in Canada’s healthcare system. Not only are you spending more time with patients, but your administrative burden is growing too. 

Did you know that 55% of people in Canada visit a community pharmacy weekly, which means they see their pharmacist up to 10 times more frequently than their family doctor.1 This ever-growing demand means your time is at a premium, and to be effective you need a solution to help streamline your patient consultation process, automate administrative tasks, and help you meet legislative requirements.

One way to become more efficient when treating minor ailments is to use the newly launched Minor Ailment tool from TELUS Health (available for Ontario pharmacists, shortly for BC and gradually to other Canadian provinces).  This tool is fully integrated with your Kroll PMS and will guide you step-by-step through the consultation process and automatically generate the documentation you need, without switching between systems to get the job done.

The impact of COVID-19 

The impact of COVID-19 on Canada’s healthcare system accelerated the evolving role of community pharmacies resulting in you doing more for your patients than ever before.

According to the National Library of Medicine 80% of people in Canada agree that allowing pharmacists to deliver more primary healthcare will improve outcomes. When the doctors closed their offices to in-person consultations and the emergency rooms were a scary place to visit, people turned to their trusted pharmacists for health advice. In some cases it was the only in-person consultation available to them and resulted in pharmacies becoming key players in supporting the pandemic. 

Patients are also indicating that now they are more likely to visit a pharmacy for healthcare advice compared to prior to the pandemic. Plus, there is a lot more pressure on pharmacists to provide more services like supporting opioid-related care, ordering and interpreting lab tests. 

Other accelerating factors include: 

  • The aging population — as the population ages and access to doctors in some provinces decreases, more of the older generation are turning to their trusted pharmacist for health care. In fact, based on a recent national study, among people who take prescription medication, 73% consider their community pharmacist to be part of their care team, among those 65+ that number is 78%.1

  • The changes in legislation and billing codes – These changes are designed to help relieve some of the burden of the healthcare system with the help of community pharmacies. With these changes pharmacists are empowered to do more, such as evaluate and prescribe medications for minor ailments. 

  • More pharmacy visits — patients are indicating that they are more likely to visit a pharmacy for healthcare advice, and many agree that visits to family doctors or urgent care should be used only when it’s essential.1

Designing for the future with PMS-integrated tools

With pharmacies across the country adding to their workload, they are becoming more of a health hub in the community — 80% of people in Canada agree that allowing pharmacists to deliver more primary healthcare will improve outcomes,  — it makes sense to offer a more efficient way to provide quality services to your patients from your core pharmacy management solution (PMS). 

Streamlining your workflow in the dispensary to automate some of the administration can help create more time for your patients. That is the approach TELUS Health has taken with Kroll and Ubik®, offering services fully integrated to the PMS tools so the pharmacists can be efficient and stay in their day-to-day PMS for most of what they need.
TELUS Health recently collaborated with Vigilance Santé to introduce a Minor Ailments tool fully integrated to Kroll to support pharmacists in their expanding scope of practice. Ontario pharmacists can now prescribe for minor ailments directly from Kroll with the help of a clinical decision support tool, legal compliance assistance and auto-generated documentation. Using a minor ailment tool integrated to your PMS, equates to significant time savings compared to filling out forms by hand, eliminating double data entry or using multiple software systems to access a full view of the patient history. Plus, to help with compliance, the dynamic forms will guide you through the consultation process and automatically create the documents you need.

“With the integration of clinical services activities in our workflow we are now regarded as an integral part of the healthcare system. This means we need the tools to help us spend more time with our patients and less time on administration,” says Scott Belfer RPh. BSc. PHm. Scott is a practising pharmacist and a Sr. Product Manager at TELUS Health.

With the newly launched Minor Ailment Kroll-integrated tool, you can: 

  1. Prescribe minor ailments safely from within Kroll – Access Minor Ailments module from a single point-of-entry and prescribe from within Kroll. Data is safely transmitted, and the consultation and medication information are stored in the Kroll patient record. One-time data entry reduces the risk of error.
  2. Gain efficiency with automated workflows – Kroll auto-generated and pre-populates prescriber and patient documents such as fee-for-service claims and prescription records. Documents are automatically saved and can be easily printed.
  3. Make clinical decisions with confidence – The step-by-step form adapts as you select options and proposes actions that comply with regulations. Updates are made to the patient file and all documentation is saved in the professional services record. 

“At Vigilance Santé, we also believe that the future of pharmacy lies in integrated solutions. This is why we are delighted to join forces with TELUS Health to provide Ontario pharmacists with a truly integrated clinical support tool, developed by and for Canadian pharmacists,” says Andrée-Anne Chevalier, President of Vigilance Santé. 

Another Kroll-integrated solution that helps you free up more of your time for clinical services, is PharmaConnect™. From Kroll you can send automated messages for medical reminders or process prescription renewals in advance of the patients coming for pick-up. Your availability for clinical services can be managed in the Kroll calendar and made available for booking by your patients via PharmaConnect. You can also empower your patients to do more and take ownership of their health. 

For example, patients using the app can:

  • Manage their medication by viewing their prescription profiles online 
  • Refill orders online and track the status 
  • Book and manage appointments online or from a smartphone   
  • Manage medications for family members or even their pet  

4 of 5 pharmacists are interested, or have already started, expanding the digital services they offer to their patients.1 Will you be one of them?

Planning ahead to meet patient demands

As you begin to plan ahead, think about how you can meet patient demands by streamlining your operations further and make the most out of your PMS, so all the patient information is stored in one place and so that you don't need to use multiple systems.

Making time for clinical services with the use of the right technology may result in increasing your revenue and helps you build personal relationships with your customers and patients, which is good for your community’s health, breeds patient loyalty, and is a great way to grow your business. For Ontario based pharmacists, now is the time to make sure you have the Kroll-integrated technology to support your implementation of Minor Ailments. 

If you would like to learn more about how a Kroll-integrated solution offered by TELUS Health can benefit your community pharmacy operations, please contact our sales team.

1. April 7, 2022 - PMG Intelligence: The Changing Pharmacy and Virtual Care Landscape.