Doctor2Go and Westshore Pharmacy have teamed up to address some of the major concerns around ease of access to primary care. According to information from Figure.NZ based on Ministry of Health nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 5 men in the Hawkes Bay were unable to get an appointment at their medical centre within 24 hours.
Samantha, the pharmacist from Westshore Pharmacy believes there is a portion of patients who she regularly deals with who are unable to get a same-day urgent appointment with their regular GP. Having already partnered with Doctor2Go to deliver medication to its corporate customers the two companies teamed up to launch a new service to help address this need.
Doctor2Go is not designed to compete with the primary care provider. Doctor2Go has been designed to supplement primary care when the immediate needs of the patient are not being met due to overflowing waiting rooms and closed patient registers. The patient can choose to have their information sent to their Primary GP after the consultation.
The service works like this; when a customer presents symptoms that can not be addressed by the pharmacist, the patient is offered a digital health consultation. The customer pays for the consultation via the pharmacy’s standard point of sales system using EFTPOS.
The pharmacist escorts the customer to a consultation room on-site, logs into a pharmacy version of Doctor2Go’s online platform on a tablet, then hands the internet connected tablet to the customer. The patient enters their name, date of birth and conditions into the app; once their information is entered they are provided with access to the video conferencing functionality which connects them directly to the Doctor2Go medical team.
If the medical team deems it necessary during the consultation, a script is sent to the pharmacy via traditional channels.
The service is live in the first clinic, and to date, staff are processing one or two visits a day. Once customer feedback has been gathered, the plan is to extend the service to the four other pharmacies affiliated with Westshore Pharmacy.
New models of health care are needed to improve and complement current access to primary care services. We are pleased to be using digital services to help meet our customer’s needs is a convenient way to improve their health and wellbeing.
Doctor2Go says it has interest from other pharmacists where they have no affiliation with an existing GP practice so it will be looking to expand the service.
About Westshore Pharmacy
Westshore Pharmacy is a local community pharmacy that services approximately 4,300 residents within its vicinity. Located about 4 kilometres northwest of the city centre where there are no urgent care services readily available. This pharmacy prides itself on providing hands-on engagements with their customers knowing almost every customer by name that walks into the pharmacy. Due to its proximity to the airport, they also tend to engage with a diverse network of visiting clients, especially during peak season. They provide a range of services, ranging from health supplements to pharmacist-only/emergency medications (e.g. antibiotic eye drops, urgent urinary tract infection treatment, first-aid treatment).