‘Kristen’s Pharmacy’ focuses on pharmacist-led, patient-centered care
By: Kate Richards
In Southampton Ontario, pharmacist and pharmacy-owner Kristen Watt is leading a model of community practice that prioritizes clinical care and patient experience. From how the physical pharmacy space is organized to the scope of services provided, Watt is looking ahead to a future in community pharmacy where clinical responsibilities of the pharmacist are further expanded.
“We are an office-based community pharmacy,” said Watt (BScPhm 1T0) explaining how she has re-imagined her pharmacy’s space and workflow so that she and her Staff Pharmacists and students work from clinical office spaces rather than from the dispensary. Pharmacy technicians are primarily responsible for the bulk of medication dispensing processes, allowing pharmacists to focus on their patients’ clinical needs and experience.
“I became a pharmacist to be a clinical expert in pharmaceutical care. The model we have built here allows us to have all the necessary patient information at our fingertips,” said Watt. “It can be hard to counsel patients from across a counter or at a cash register. This approach is much more efficient and, from my experience, provides a higher level of care.”
“Whether it’s unaddressed symptoms they need support with or whether they are having difficulty finding appropriate coverage for health expenses. We’ll go the extra mile and take on those challenges because people deserve the best care.”
In addition to prescription-based interactions, the pharmacy offers appointment bookings for a range of services including medication management and de-prescribing, pain consultations, and diabetes management. If a patient’s needs fall outside the pharmacy’s scope, Watt will refer out to other specialists.
Currently pharmacy appointments are held virtually but Watt has found that having a dedicated, private space for meeting with patients improves the quality of the interaction and helps to build trust. “We tend to be the place where people go when they have a problem,” she said. “Whether it’s unaddressed symptoms they need support with or whether they are having difficulty finding appropriate coverage for health expenses. We’ll go the extra mile and take on those challenges because people deserve the best care.”