Community pharmacist: An ever-evolving role

Pharmacists often provide front-line health services, either caring for patients directly or guiding them to other healthcare providers. During the height of COVID-19 pharmacists were, at times, the only human contact for patients, providing a trusted source of advice, comfort and care.

Building on this trust, comfort and care will help community pharmacists become an integral part of their patient’s health journey throughout every life stage.

Supporting patients throughout every life stage

Providing post-natal and early childhood care, services for mental health and chronic disease management and in-hospital care will see pharmacists develop a collaborative patient-centred approach to care through every stage of their patient’s life. This approach not only benefits the patient but helps establish and maintain a healthy and connected community.

The growing importance of individualised care

The growing demand for compounded medicines and the release of new S3 medicines will increase the provision of individualised medical monitoring and medicines. Community pharmacists, who have a deeper understanding of their patient’s needs, will be able to adapt quickly to these changes, putting them at the forefront of patient care.

Provide clinical services to ease a strained healthcare system

With an ageing population and an increase in chronic illness, pharmacists will play a greater role in community care and ease the burden on the healthcare system. Expanding clinical health services and checks will not only help meet community healthcare needs but may, with Government rebates, provide a new revenue stream for clinical services.

Developing deeper community relationships

The role of community pharmacists as essential pillars in the community will continue to evolve and grow. Pharmacists will provide a broad and flexible range of health services, both in-person and via e-health. By supporting the patient in the pharmacy, their residence, or the hospital, the pharmacist’s essential role in the community will grow. Changes to pharmacy regulations, likely to occur over the next decade, may see deregulation, allowing in-supermarket dispensing. Developing valued community relationships, built on trust and authority, will help differentiate community pharmacies from these future transactional providers.

Community pharmacists will continue to play an important role in the health of their community, providing services that deliver individualised care for their patients throughout every stage of their life.

As we head towards 2030, your role as a pharmacist will continue to broaden.

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Pharmacy 2030: community pharmacy at the centre of patient care