Hi there! I’m Michelle Chaung, a fourth year pharmacy student at University of Toronto. I’m currently completing my pharmacy rotation at MedEssist, and our team here is constantly brainstorming unique ways to support independent pharmacies. Our support is not limited to helping pharmacy teams with implementing technology, but also helping them overcome clinical, business, workflow, or any other challenges they may face on a day to day basis. As a system that’s connected to the daily practice of so many pharmacies, we feel a strong obligation to be a community builder as much as a builder of technology. Of course we’re not the only community out there that pharmacies can depend on, here are 5 communities that can help you learn and get practice support:
CHN (AKA Pharmacy Practice + Business) is a comprehensive educational and news source platform for pharmacists. Here you’ll find health related articles, pharmacy continuing education, free webinars, blogs and discussion posts. They offer a truly wide range of resources, including clinical guidelines, innovation topics, pharmacy business tips, opinion pieces, policy news, and a pharmacy focused print magazine. If you’re looking for tips and inspiration to grow your community pharmacy practice, CHN is without a doubt the best community for you.
Qid.io allows pharmacists to make posts and have discussions with other pharmacists. Qid.io highlights the fact that they only allow verified members to join. This could mean a more accurate member database, but also potentially a smaller as there is an onboarding process. From my brief look at the platform, there is currently more of a focus on clinical topics, and less activity around community practice or business discussion.
Perhaps the best professional community for you, is the one you make! I personally am a part of group chats with my co-workers or pharmacy school mates, and I feel comfortable asking my technical or clinical questions there. If you don’t have a group chat, then there’s a massive one on Facebook that is always accepting new members, called The Community Pharmacists Network Canada, which consists of over 4000 pharmacists or students. This Facebook group can serve as a quick and informal method to get an answer to your questions as long as you don’t mind having your name and Facebook account posted to thousands of pharmacists.
Figure 1, is a Toronto-based company that is demonstrating the potential of collaborative knowledge-sharing. This app allows healthcare practitioners from around the world to view, share and discuss real-world medical cases. They have close to 3 million members and over 100,000 real-world medical cases in their database (1). Although this app is open to pharmacists, the discussions are largely around rare medical cases and are unlikely to be helpful in daily practice. It is an example of healthcare community learning worth mentioning.
Despite these aforementioned solutions, we feel there continues to be a gap in the support systems that are available to pharmacy teams. Our team developed MedEssist Practice Support. This feature enables pharmacy teams to anonymously request any type of help (clinical, marketing, insurance, drug shortages, etc.) quickly and easily within their daily workflow. There are 3 core principles of this system:
With the continued expansion of pharmacy’s scope of practice, our responsibilities are greater than ever before. We need better support systems. We hope this feature helps make every pharmacist feel supported at all times for whatever happens next!
Figure 1 unveils next generation of medical case sharing &. (n.d.). Healthcaretechoutlook.com. Retrieved August 29, 2022, from https://www.healthcaretechoutlook.com/news/figure-1-unveils-next-generation-of-medical-case-sharing-education-platform-for-healthcare-professionals-pnid-140.html
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