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What’s around the corner for the Australian pharmacy profession?

In 1961, South Australian Pharmacist, Mr Alan Russell OBE, imagined a future where pharmacists, like himself, could experience an unexpected incident in their pharmacy and find themselves exposed to a large claim.

In 1963, Guild Insurance was established — 55 years later, and the Guild Group is continuing to develop ways to respond to whatever the future holds for pharmacists, and the profession as a whole.

The pharmacy profession is constantly evolving, in line with the greater healthcare profession.

Whether it be government legislation, advances in technology or greater patient involvement in their own care, there is an increasing focus on reducing costs and improving health outcomes for all patients.

The changing landscape has also resulted in the role of individual pharmacists, and their employees responding to sometimes unpredictable, or unexpected changes.

The role of the pharmacist has expanded greatly in the past few decades — and looks to continue to evolve well into the future.

It is for this reason that the Guild Group has commissioned a research project to explore the expectations, predictions and concerns among Australian pharmacists regarding the emerging trends, and possible threats facing themselves, their businesses and the pharmacy profession.

From day-to-day operational hurdles, to the volatility of the PBS, climate- and weather-related implications, to digital security and data breaches and beyond.

The research is being conducted by Empirica Research, and the findings will be presented at the APP Conference in May 2018, where the Guild Group will connect with industry professionals and voice current challenges, trends and opportunities facing the Australian pharmacy industry.

Whether it’s a robbery, natural disaster, a commercial or cyber threat, an expert panel chaired by the Guild Group will discuss future trends, threats and triumphs, and provide all attendees with exclusive access to the insights that are uncovered.

The research aims to uncover a range of trends, and provide insight into how the profession could respond.

It will include a mix of quantitative and qualitative research — including focus group session findings — and provide granular insights on the key drivers, including changing demographics, technology or professional standards which could all influence the future of the profession.

The research will attempt to uncover:

  • the current and emerging pressures, threats and risks pharmacists may face
  • attitudes/perspectives and feelings towards these challenges and any behaviours/practices currently in place in response to them
  • solutions that the profession, supported by the Guild Group, can implement to not just survive the future, but thrive as it turns to reality.

A key objective of the research will be to predict and forecast the future shifts within the industry and the changing role of the pharmacist, from providers of information to interpreters of information.

The results will further encourage an ongoing progressive dialogue on the evolving industry landscape which includes the impact of understanding and responding to cultural and social gaps, applying multidisciplinary initiatives to improve health care, medicines optimisation and predictive risk analysis of the pharmacy industry.

For many pharmacists, a main area of concern could be as simple as running out of time, or being so busy with day-to-day accountabilities that future plans of growing or securing their business are shelved.

With over 63,000 workers employed and over 4,000 businesses in the profession, the impact of any future trends cannot be understated.

The Guild Group are excited about the research and are looking forward to collaborating with key stakeholders and playing the role of a catalyst in helping pharmacists navigate the road ahead.

We hope that you not only participate in the research project itself, but attend APP and get a front row seat to just what the future could hold for you, and your business.

Keep an eye out for more information about the upcoming research project in future issues of In The Know and APP communications.

We look forward to seeing you this May at APP and uncovering what the future has in store for all of us.

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