Welcome to the June 1 homepage edition of i2P.
In some respects I think that the financial year 2014 will be remembered for the political disruption created in pharmacy and in the broader community.
There is an air of uncertainty that is causing pharmacy business confidence to collapse through this engineered financial crisis that is supposed to exist in Australia’s Triple-A rated economy.
While most of us can see areas for improvement and efficiency, those identified could be worked at progressively and methodically as any good manager would approach any perceived business problem.
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Regular weekly updates that supplement the regular monthly homepage edition of i2P.
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If I tell story in a way you relate to, my story becomes your story, and the need to persuade or convince or sell you on something disappears.
For the past 20 years I have been documenting my own personal story in the context of the larger story of my family’s history, and in so doing, have learned the derivation of a lot of common surnames.
It has, for me, been an interesting journey that is encapsulated in a number of short stories from the past that merge into the broader landscape of history in general.
It also gives me a starting point when I first engage with a patient and try to build an empathetic base because if I know the derivation of their surname, I am able to share a point in time of some aspect of family history that crosses over to that of my patient.
And for that brief moment, my story becomes theirs and barriers break down sufficient to engage my patient in a clinical conversation where I can ask questions to a meaningful depth and receive answers that are both friendly and accommodating.
The Kassem Pharmacy is located in a two-story building in New Cairo, in the new residential and commercial area of the Egyptian capital.
The owner, Doctor Shaimaa Kassem wanted a modern and elegant pharmacy.
Sartoretto Verna’s challenge was to evaluate and leverage the space on both floors, bringing innovation to this traditional Egyptian market with the introduction of new services and areas dedicated to the client: self-tests, beauty treatments, waiting areas, make-up counters and a coffee corner.
Rather disturbing social media plea recently from the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne pleading with parents to reconsider whether a trip to the hospital is absolutely necessary when a child falls ill.
Many years ago, the local pharmacist was a signpost for primary care.
Wikipedia is a great read, and its description should be a mantra indelibly ingrained into our psyche.
Students on their first day should be given a fridge magnet as a reminder – maybe even a tattoo on the back of their hand.
Wikipedia defines primary care as “the day-to-day health care provided by a health care provider.
Typically, this provider acts as the first contact and principal point of continuing care for patients within a health care system, and coordinates other specialist care the patient may need.”
I have often scratched my head as to why the PGA pursue the lowest hourly rate for employed pharmacists since I first discovered that the pharmacy award was the start point in determining the dispensing fee for PBS dispensing.
Too low an award meant that employed pharmacists would be working for an unsatisfactory return on their labour while simultaneously sending the PBS dispensing fee to an uneconomical low point.
This is an area where there ought to be room for negotiation because the proper solution ought to be a balanced solution.
While the PGA has successfully held down the award rates for pharmacists in recent years there now seems to be a host of reasons for allowing an increase in pharmacist award rates.
WORDS - THE TOOLS OF TRADE
Words are the tools of trade of lawyers, journalists, marketers and politicians.
Words evoke emotions, establish understanding, detail agreements and are the cornerstones of corporate visions, philosophies and relationships.
However, it is a vexed world in which we live and do business. Even four-letter words have multiple meanings........ and spellings.
In 1972 wordsmith and entertainer Don McLean released the seminal song, “American Pie”, in which he sang the words:
Have you ever wondered why information relating to nutritional medicines is not readily available?
Well, apart from a lack of funding to assist in research development and the publishing of good quality peer-reviewed papers, there is a major form of medical censorship through publicly funded databases, the most important being Medline or PubMed.
If you are unable to readily access good evidence for a nutritional substance, then it might mean an automatic assumption that “no evidence exists” to support a specific claim for a nutritional product.
Some parts of this article have been excerpted from the security newsletter “Ouch” and adapted for pharmacist use.
The article could be printed and stored in your security manual for added benefit.
The original article can be found at:
Editor's Note: Every now and then we publish excerpts from a US based pharmacy newsletter title "The Pharmacist Activist".
There are some philosophical similarities between this publication and i2P; its editor is a pharmacist named Daniel Hussar.
In this particular edition we note some US trends in respect of prescription plans.
Given that there are a number of dark forces working behind the scenes to introduce a health system to Australia similar to the U.S, we thought it might be informative to have a snapshot reference to understand what is actually meant by a managed prescription plan.
The recent attacks on the Australian health system through an extraordinary federal budget rationale that has the appearance of destroying Medicare, should be sufficient to put all health providers on guard.
For this current government, integrity seems to be a forgotten value.
Did you know that every $1.00 that businesses invest in mental health returns $2.30. This is the message from the recently launched “Heads Up” campaign. You can read more about the campaign and the concept of mentally health workplaces at http://www.headsup.org.au/. The website link also takes you to the report by PwC “Creating a mentally healthy working place – a return on investment analysis.”
An increasing number of community pharmacies are promoting 'hi-tech' naturopathy clinics inside their shops.
Customers seeking advice on "wellness" or those who want "natural treatment alternatives" are encouraged to use the services of these in-house “alternative therapists”.
Do pharmacists believe that naturopaths should be part of their patients’ treatment teams or are these clinics merely profit-seeking gimmicks?
Do you have a tough decision to make?
Or are you trying to build consensus among other employees?
If so, you might want to follow the way bees make their decisions, because according to researchers, human beings can learn volumes from bees when it comes to making group decisions.
Cornell University biologist Thomas Seely, in a Cornell Chronicle Online story by Susan S. Lang, explains how bees build coalitions until a quorum develops.
Seely says bees rely on disagreement and contest, whereas humans often rely on consensus and compromise.
I’ve been thinking about baseballs, moon shots, patients, and parades.
Between innings at a Mariners’ game, I got chatting with a visitor from New York about how in 1958, the Dodgers moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.
Adding injury to insult, I mentioned how their Hall of Fame centerfielder, Duke Snider, moved onto my block in the All-American City of Lynwood.Not good.
Clearly, the Bum’s abandoning Ebbets Field (with its left-field fence a healthy 348 feet from home plate) broke one kid’s heart, ruined his life, and was nothing short of unAmerican.
I2P has been reporting on a range of systems that are able to determine a biometric for a patient from a home environment or from a pharmacy clinical space.
Refinement of these systems has been continually occurring to a level where they can now be said to be equivalent in terms of quality results compared to the more elaborate (and expensive) pathology laboratory.
Mature forms of these systems will be reaching the local market around the end of 2014 to mid 2015 and they will enable clinical pharmacists to position themselves front and centre for the delivery of primary health care and self-care health models.
The existing pathology model will eventually be totally disrupted (and replaced by the various biometric systems that can be used directly by patients) because the extended event chain, (doctor collection, pathology courier pick-up and return electronic report, new patient appointment and interview), is vulnerable and costly.
With various co-payments proposed by government for doctor consultations and laboratory pathology tests, many patients will fall through the cracks.
Collaboration is an ideal promoted under the notion of better patient outcomes, the ability to share scarce financial resources to create a more fluid result.
Wikipedia provides the following definition:
Collaboration is working with each other to do a task and to achieve shared goals.
It is a recursive process where two or more people or organisations work together to realize shared goals, (this is more than the intersection of common goals seen in co-operative ventures, but a deep, collective determination to reach an identical objective).
For example, an endeavor that is creative in nature—by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus.
Most collaboration requires leadership although the form of leadership can be social within a decentralised and egalitarian group.
In particular, teams that work collaboratively can obtain greater resources, recognition and reward when facing competition for finite resources.
Collaboration is also present in opposing goals exhibiting the notion of adversarial collaboration, though this is not a common case for using the word.
Editor's Note: Most of the outcry against the use of vaccinations is not so much the active component of the vaccine, but the toxic substances that are utilised to prevent contamination by infection or to preserve the stability of the vaccine.
i2P supports the basic theory of immunity and the fact that “herd immunity” needs to be at a high level to protect a community from various diseases, but we cannot accept the hysteria generated from certain sectors of the medical community when a breakthrough of an infection within a population group becomes the problem of the unvaccinated component of that population, rather than a faulty batch of vaccine or the lack of science surrounding vaccines in the first place.
Quite commonly, an infection outbreak occurs in patients who have been previously immunised (as for whooping cough), but mainstream media is quickly primed by vaccine manufacturers and researchers, to divert the blame immediately to people who have not been vaccinated.
The pharmaceuticals used to treat pain haven’t changed substantially in many years, and they all come with a range of possible side effects.
In the case of strong opioids, the potential for dependence or overdose sometimes outweighs the benefits. A team of researchers from Duke University may have discovered an alternative to the drugs traditionally used to treat pain.
They have developed a highly specialized antibody that can dull the pain response by acting directly on neurons.
Editor's Note: The following media release is published to provide another side to the vaccine debate.
We have not examined the review in detail and no doubt there will be much comment over the next 12 months as that detail is dissected.
Awards are still being made from the Vaccine Court in the US in respect of vaccine-damaged patients and our independent researcher, Judy Wilyman, is still reporting anomalies that exist in certain vaccines (found in this edition of i2P).
Confidence in scientific evidence has been damaged as more evidence of pharma fraud comes to light.
By Suzanne Newman (SHPA)
SHPA congratulates members whose work has been recognised at the recent National Medicinewise Awards 2014, which were presented at the 2014 National Medicines Symposium.
Pharmacist Mary Hanna accepted the prize on behalf of the Monash Health Pharmacy Department and the team of pharmacists involved for the Hospital Outreach Medication Review initiative (HOMR), which received the Excellence in Consumer Initiatives (community level) Award.
By Suzanne Newman (SHPA)
SHPA congratulates Gwynneth Petrie, who was made a Member of the Order of Australia in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, for her service to medicine as a senior hospital pharmacist, mentor and innovator.
Gwynneth has had a long career in hospital pharmacy and extensive involvement with SHPA.
She is a Fellow of SHPA.
It is not too late to donate – support your pharmacy colleagues with an EOFY donation to the Pharmacists’Support Service
You can support the work of PSS by making a tax deductible donation before the end of the financial year.
The service is totally reliant on the generosity of the pharmacy profession for financial support.
Even though the service is provided by trained volunteers who are all pharmacists there are a number of expenses including training, telephone expenses, insurance, part-time administrative support and other overheads.
The Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) is about pharmacists supporting pharmacists. PSS is available to all Australian pharmacists, interns and pharmacy students every day of the year between 8am and 11pm on 1300 244 910.
The service provides anonymity to all callers and is as close as your phone when you need to talk. For more information visit www.supportforpharmacists.org.au.
I noticed this news item in the Chemist + Druggist online publication and wondered whether the comments made suit the current Australian experience.
I am unsure as to whether Australians have embraced mobile technology to any great extent, so I have asked Mark Coleman to undertake a brief investigation and write his own commentary.
His comments appear below the following news item: