Reckitt Benckiser supports and encourages pharmacy education
With pharmacy assistants providing advice on analgesics for an average of 33 times each day* Reckitt Benckiser has recognised the importance of providing the right advice by introducing successful national pharmacy education programs.
The releases of Reckitt Benckiser’s Pharmacy Assistant QUM Education Kit in February, PainPod, and GermHub have reinforced Reckitt Benckiser’s commitment to providing quality, evidence based education in the fields of pain and germ management.
Anthony Tassone, National Professional Development Manager of the Guild Pharmacy Academy, has supported Reckitt Benckiser’s education endeavours.
'As a pharmacy owner, I recognise it is extremely important to spend time and invest in quality staff education. Gaining knowledge in areas which are often overlooked benefits not only employees, but also helps provide better advice and support for our customers,' he says.
To better equip pharmacy to compete and to continue to provide the highest quality of advice, Reckitt Benckiser has created the Pharmacy Assistant QUM education kits to assist in bridging the disconnect between pharmacist and pharmacy assistant views with expert consensus, whilst also supporting pharmacies in providing the right advice to consumers.
The Pharmacy Assistant QUM Education Kit is entitled 'Analgesics: What You Thought You Knew', and has been developed in conjunction with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia to help refute common misconceptions about OTC analgesics.
Recently it has become apparent there is a large disconnect between what gastrointestinal experts think and what community pharmacy believes on issues associated with OTC analgesics. This highlights the possibility that pharmacy may be making incorrect recommendations to their customers.
Consumers trust pharmacy to give the right advice, including recommendations for common complaints such as pain relief. This quality advice is one of the key reasons why people shop in a pharmacy rather than a supermarket.
By educating pharmacy assistants about the correct usage and dosage of pain medications, Reckitt Benckiser has also aimed to assist pharmacy in leveraging their best asset, the service of advice, in order to remain competitive against supermarkets.
At the recent APP Conference, Reckitt Benckiser’s guest speaker, Dr Gary Mortimer, lecturer and consumer marketing expert from Queensland University of Technology, emphasised the great importance of providing information in order to build consumer trust and loyalty within pharmacy.
'Simply put pharmacists and pharmacies of tomorrow must find ways to increase profit margins by focusing more on patient counselling and education,' said Gary Mortimer, quoting James Owen from the American Pharmacists Association.
A recent survey conducted on behalf of Reckitt Benckiser found that, of the 50 pharmacy assistants surveyed, 68% viewed online training formats as more convenient than other forms of training.** In response to this, Reckitt Benckiser also launched the PainPod and GermHub online training programs.
The award winning PainPod program, Reckitt Benckiser’s most successful education program, has seen almost 11,000 pharmacists and pharmacy assistants registering for the modules.
The interactive online programme is aimed at helping pharmacy assistants and pharmacists match their customer’s pain needs with the most effective pain solutions available in pharmacies.
The success of the PainPod campaign has influenced health care promotion across Australia, with over 55% of pharmacies nationwide having had at least one pharmacy assistant participating in the program.
The PainPod pharmacy assistant modules are currently online and provide three and a half hours of the annual Quality Care Pharmacy Program Approved Refresher Training requirement.
Additionally, the GermHub online education program offers pharmacy assistants with the informed confidence of recommending effective germ protection solutions. Through a combination of interactive real-world cases, animations and quizzes, Germ Hub provides more understanding around how germs such as bacteria, parasites and viruses can spread and lead to illness, particularly stomach upsets and cold and flu.
Reckitt Benckiser aims to continue its efforts in providing new opportunities for pharmacists and pharmacy assistants in accessing important information with the upcoming launch of new PainPod modules.
* Metis quantitative research, 2011
** Metis quantitative research, 2011