We spoke to Helen from Expert Pharmacist Review, to hear about her business and her experience through the OBL program.
Tell us a little about you and your business, Expert Pharmacist Review.
I’m a pharmacist by trade and have experience in many areas of pharmacy, particularly in geriatric and general medicine. I’ve been doing home medication reviews for many, many years, usually by referrals from people I know (home medication reviews are when a qualified pharmacist visits people’s homes and conducts a review on the current medications they’re taking). I’ve been doing these reviews as a supplement to work, so over the years, there are times when I haven’t been doing them consistently.
Since the last few years have been slow on the at-home reviews front, I thought I’d move my services online and generate more traffic. I’m passionate about quality use of medicines and want to help people improve their medication management and be in control of their health. It’s something I’m qualified to do, and it helps people, so I thought now is the time!
The process involves a pharmacist (me) going to people’s homes, looking at their different medications, and finding out how they are using them and what can be done to better manage them. This can involve questions like how medicines are taken, how they’re stored, how any inhalers or devices are used, any problems or side effects, or even discussing the volume of medication and whether this is necessary. The next step is to write a report for them to take to their preferred GP. The doctor then reviews this report, and the patient and doctor agree on a plan to consolidate their medications better moving forward.
At Expert Pharmacist Review I offer these home medication reviews to anyone, and they’re very easily accessible. This program is funded by the government, so Medicare pays for this process to take place. The doctor can make a referral for you to see me (or you can be referred by a friend or family member), I conduct the review and produce a report, which you then take back to your doctor. Their consultation will be covered by Medicare, and for eligible patients, there is no cost.
Have you had to adapt anything in your business recently because of COVID19?
Yes, the home visitations have stopped – but I’m still able to connect with patients through Telehealth – either by phone or online chat. It’s the same process, we discuss the medications and I provide the report, which they then can meet with their doctor digitally to discuss. The health, safety and wellbeing of everyone is paramount at this time, so it’s good there’s a process like this in place for me to keep offering my services.
When you signed up for the OBL program, what was the main problem you were trying to solve?
This is a side business for me, to fill in my time when I’m not working at the pharmacy. My main issue was getting this business going! It’s now become very flexible – it’s something that I already do and I can work to my own schedule around my kids and family.
I’m naturally helping my patients whilst at work, so I wanted to extend that education and element of control my patients have, depending on what medications they’re using. It’s really satisfying being able to work through a patient’s concerns and issues in their own space as well – there’s a different level of comfort with home visits, even when conducting them online.
What was your experience during the 12 weeks, and how did you find the various modules?
I loved doing the program online! When I considered joining last year, the face-to-face workshops clashed with work. So, when I applied this year and everything moved online, I was very pleased. Learning online gives you the ability to catch up on things you missed, work at your own pace, and get back on track quite easily. The whole team is really supportive, there really is an ‘ask anything’ culture no matter how small! I got to know the instructors really well, as well as other people doing the course with me.
The content was great – each week you move through a different module that helps you build your online presence – overall, it’s a very good course to get your business set up online. The program itself is well designed – you can see the OBL team work hard to make sure it’s a thorough process for anyone getting their business structures set up! Communication throughout was really easy with all of the team members.
What did you enjoy the most?
I’m happy with what I produced at the end! I liked working together, but also working alone – each participant has their own business, and somehow this collective momentum is built through the course and it helps push everyone to get things done which is great. For me, I needed that extra push to get my business moving! I also enjoyed the support from instructors and the ‘ask anything’ culture – it allowed me to work through any issues or problems easily.
Now that you’ve completed the program, how would you describe this experience to someone else?
So OBL is an online program to help you get your business started online – each week you learn a different topic, and it all aligns to allow you to have a website and functioning business by the end of the 12 weeks. It’s very supportive, the instructors are really knowledgeable – I liked how they each have their own business – you know they understand where you’re coming from!
The OBL team are great, they go on top of what I feel the program requirements are to make sure they can answer your questions and help you succeed. Ee Zen was awesome with product suggestions and alternatives, Ali was very patient with me on tech, the whole team really helps you get through! Thank you OBL team for your support.
Thanks for your insight into the OBL program Helen!
We aim to support and guide all your business ideas and help them become a reality – everyone’s situation is always different, that's what we’re here to help with.
If you’d like to know more about the Online Business Lift-Off Program, or want to see if you’re eligible for our next cohort, head to https://onlinebusinessliftoff.com/ today!
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