Roya Askarian-Monavvari, owner of Roya Boutique Pharmacy in Toronto, was one of the hundreds of pharmacists who attended last year’s Pharmacy U in Toronto.
By Talbot Boggs
Photography by Amanda Thirkill
Based on what she learned at the conference, she plans to set up a shingles vaccination practice once it is approved by the government and the college. “I definitely want to incorporate that into my practice once approval is granted,” she says. “I found the session really interesting and informative. In fact, two days after the conference I was able to diagnose a patient who came into the pharmacy with shingles. This is the kind of practical information you can get at these conferences. I look forward to more of these types of sessions this year.”
The fifth annual Pharmacy U Toronto conference, on Feb. 6, 2016, will focus even more on providing pharmacists with a wealth of business and professional knowledge and skills they can apply in their pharmacies to improve business and service to customers.
“Pharmacy U is the only conference that focuses exclusively on the business of pharmacy, says Michael Cronin, vice president and general manager of conference organizer Stagnito Business Information.
“Pharmacists attend Pharmacy U to learn how they might best leverage future opportunities and understand how to make the most of changes in legislation. They also know that this conference can help them learn ways to improve the viability of their pharmacy business.”
The conference is unique in that it not only discusses what is happening in the industry, it also offers specific strategies on how pharmacists can achieve their goals.
“The fact that the conferences are fully CCCEP-accredited is a great additional benefit, but the primary benefit remains that attendees can take what they learn and apply that knowledge to make their businesses more successful.”
This year’s conference will feature presentations, workshops and panel discussions by industry-leading experts on a diverse range of clinical and business topics and popular networking sessions where attendees can meet their fellow professionals and discuss issues and practices.
Here are a few of the key themes of this year’s Pharmacy U:
Increasing patient care by tailoring your services
When pharmacists think of selling their services they often see themselves as sales reps flogging products and services. In fact, sales principles have more to do with recognizing the needs of patients and describing how pharmacy services can benefit them. Equipped with confidence and the correct tools, community pharmacies can tailor their services to address the medical needs of their constituents and the health of their businesses.
Developing a patient care practice
Trying to implement someone else’s service or services into your individual practice may not be as profitable, effective and rewarding as developing ones that are suited to your location, team and customer base. Attendees at this year’s show will learn how to develop a patient care practice that is uniquely suited to their individual pharmacies.
Helping patients to quit smoking
Smoking is a hard habit to break, but 70 per cent of smokers are willing to quit. The path to their success is a combination of pharmacotherapy and counselling. This year’s conference will teach you how to set up a successful smoking cessation service, as well as how to help patients better manage depression and find ways to improve patient medication adherence and outcomes for type 2 diabetes.
Mining research to make decisions
Many practice-related decisions are based on good, sound information. Learn more from insights from two of the largest medication management projects in the country, the BC Medication Management Project and the Pharmacy Practice Models Initiative.
Learning the ins and outs of financial and legal planning
Pharmacists today are faced with a myriad of financial and legal issues regarding their personal and business affairs. An overview of the Canadian financial services industry will help pharmacists gain an appreciation of a good financial plan, the key elements of a personal budget, and the various tax planning vehicles available to pharmacists. All pharmacists enter into legal agreements as part of doing business. A session on legal considerations for pharmacy owners will help them recognize issues regarding the protection of their business, the statutes and regulations governing Ontario pharmacy operators, and pharmacy provider, wholesale supplier and banner agreements.