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Creating the parent-friendly pharmacy

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Canadian families have changed greatly. We're living with the reality today that older moms are a big part of a trend.

Who is your audience as a pharmacist? New mothers in their 40s. Extended families. You may even be prescribing vet meds for your patients' animals.

How do you create a parent-friendly pharmacy for all types of parents and families? The parent journey is similar to the transtheoretical model of change (six stages of change: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, and termination).

You start with planning pregnancy and offering counselling you can charge for.

What does the pregnant patient require? Folic acid and food fortification are both important for pregnancy. What about supplements? What should you be recommending?

Half of pregnancies are unplanned, so it's important to examine the drug use of pregnant women. I recommend a great resource called Motherisk. What about OTCs for pregnant women? Some are fine, while others pose challenges. Here's where you as pharmacists and healthcare professionals can definitely help.

In addition to counselling on drug use, OTCs and supplementation you can help in many other ways. For instance, pregnant women need a hospital checklist and a going-home initial checklist. There are lots of opportunities for pharmacists to help patients with these -- and charge for the services.

But your counselling doesn't end just with pregnant women. You can also offer a counselling room, with materials for new parents and grandparents, as well as resources to other professionals. Clinics and referrals are valuable helpers for pregnant women and their families. And they are ways for you to engage your audience and market your services.

What about your patients who rely on homeopathic remedies? Often these remedies have not been tested. Don't stock them in your pharmacy in the first place if you don't believe in their efficacy. Help to educate your patients -- all of your patients, and not just pregnant moms.

Shelley Diamond is a pharmacist who co-founded, an extensive online resource for Canadians living with diabetes, their families and healthcare professionals.


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