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6 ChatGPT Pharmacy Hacks
The rapid advancement of artificial intelligence is revolutionising industries across the board, and the pharmacy sector is no exception. As AI technology continues to develop, tools like ChatGPT are emerging as catalysts for change in how pharmacies operate.
a list of pharmacist and chat GPT related jokes told on the ChatGPT platform: Why did the pharmacy owner hire ChatGPT instead of a new pharmacist? Because it doesn't require coffee breaks or vacations! How do you know when ChatGPT is working in a pharmacy? The shelves are always stocked, and there's never a line at the counter. Why did ChatGPT make the perfect pharmacy assistant? It had a "prescription" for success. What did the pharmacist say when ChatGPT correctly identified a drug interaction? "I guess we'll call it a 'pharmACEutical.'" Why was the pharmacist impressed with ChatGPT's knowledge of medications? Because it had access to the entire "data-scription" list! What do you call ChatGPT when it's integrated into a pharmacy's software? "The Digital Druggist." What did the pharmacist say when ChatGPT predicted the exact number of pill bottles needed for the month? "That's a tough pill to swallow!" Why did the pharmacist never have to worry about ChatGPT running late? It's always on "cloud nine" and ready to work! How do you know when ChatGPT is working at the pharmacy? The staff meetings are unusually quiet! Why did ChatGPT become the pharmacy's most popular employee? It always had the right "dose" of information! Please note that these jokes are intended for entertainment purposes only and should not be taken as an indication that ChatGPT will replace pharmacists. The primary goal of AI tools like ChatGPT is to assist and augment human professionals, not to replace them.

Probably the worst application of ChatGPT I’ve ever done, asking it for jokes for this image. Comedians can sleep easy.

In this article, we explore 6 ways ChatGPT can integrate into pharmacy practice, streamlining processes, enhancing customer service, and optimising operations.

Can you start doing all these overnight? No.

Should you start a journey for integrating them today? Absolutely. Unless you’ve got plans with your kids. In which case, do that first. Then, and only then, should you start your pharmacy journey with GPT.

1. Automated Customer Support and “Virtual” ChatGPT Pharmacist Consultations

One of the key applications of ChatGPT in pharmacy practice is automating patient interactions – at least, the ones that happen all day every day. By integrating ChatGPT into pharmacy systems, pharmacies provide instant and accurate answers to customer queries, saving time and resources while maintaining a consistently high level of customer service.

Moreover, ChatGPT can also facilitate virtual pharmacist consultations, giving patients convenient access to professional advice without requiring a physical visit to the pharmacy.

We’re now exploring how we can use ChatGPT in your pharmacy website.

How would this work?

ChatGPT operates by processing and understanding data it’s given. By using Open AI‘s API, then coding a bespoke model/application for ChatGPT, it could understand your pharmacy’s data, such as the data held in your PMR system. Using this would enable it to respond to patient queries about their medication, including anything from asking when their prescription will be ready, to reporting side effects they’re experiencing and asking for advice.

The code could then tell ChatGPT to tell the patient to either seek the advice of a pharmacist or, potentially, raise a red flag in the PMR system based on the Patient’s interaction.

I think an initial issue is patients accepting that they were talking to AI – there are lots of trust issues there (You would absolutely have to be up front about it being an automated response). But this is a barrier to all new tech, and the more people used it, the more used to it they’d get.

2. Drug Interaction Checks and Prescription Validation

Patient safety is paramount in any healthcare setting, and pharmacies play a critical role in ensuring the safe dispensing of medications. ChatGPT can be employed to analyse drug interactions, alerting pharmacists to potential risks and helping to minimise the likelihood of adverse drug reactions. Additionally, ChatGPT can assist in automatically validating prescriptions, identifying potential errors, and ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

Could Pharmacy PMR Systems then harness ChatGPT? We think so.

3. Inventory Management and Predictive Analytics for Demand Forecasting

Effective inventory management is essential to the smooth operation of a pharmacy. By leveraging ChatGPT, pharmacies can track and manage their inventory more efficiently, optimising stock levels and preventing running out of meds. Furthermore, integrating ChatGPT with external pharmacy data (such as the RPS, GPhC, PharmData) enables better demand forecasting, allowing adjusting inventory and staffing in anticipation of future needs.

4. Staff Training and Education

Pharmacies utilising ChatGPT as an educational resource to train staff on new medications, procedures, and regulations, ensuring a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce would be possible right now, with the right development.

This AI-assisted training can help employees stay current with industry developments and provide the best possible care to patients.

How can pharmacy owners trust ChatGPT enough to use it for training their staff?

Pharmacy owners concerns about relying on an AI system like ChatGPT for staff training are understandable.

Establishing trust in the technology requires:

  1. Validating the information provided by ChatGPT: Pharmacy owners can cross-check the information generated by ChatGPT with reliable sources, such as regulatory guidelines, drug databases, or educational materials.
  2. Combining AI assistance with human expertise: ChatGPT can be used as a supplementary resource alongside traditional training methods, providing staff with a comprehensive learning experience.
  3. Monitoring and adjusting: Pharmacy owners can regularly review and assess the quality of the training materials generated by ChatGPT and adjust their approach accordingly.

Regarding the validation of the information provided by ChatGPT, it should be possible to code ChatGPT’s API to integrate with the resources you yourself as a pharmacist would trust…meaning it has access to all the right information.

So far, my partner, who is a tax advisor who hates ChatGPT conceptually, has begrudgingly conceded that it knows the tax legislation pretty well. It’s answered things it took her 20 minutes to look up, instantly. Of course, it’s human nature to want to double-check this, but overall, AI is only as good as the data it’s trained on.

Giving it access to the same data you have means it’s probably going to be fine.

5. Personalised Medication Reminders and Patient Engagement

Improving patient adherence to medication regimens is crucial in achieving better health outcomes.

Pharmacies can use ChatGPT to send personalised medication reminders via text or email, making it easier for patients to remember when to take their medications. Additionally, ChatGPT can help pharmacies engage with their patients through tailored content and targeted marketing campaigns, promoting specific products or services and fostering long-term relationships.

Sending personalised medication reminders via text or email using ChatGPT requires integration with the pharmacy’s software systems. Here’s how this can be achieved:

  1. Establish a secure connection between the pharmacy’s software and ChatGPT API, allowing the AI to access relevant patient data, such as medication schedules and contact information.
  2. Develop custom scripts or applications that utilise ChatGPT to generate personalised reminder messages based on the patient’s medication regimen.
  3. Integrate the ChatGPT-generated messages with the pharmacy’s existing communication systems, such as email or SMS platforms, to automatically send reminders to patients.

6. Continuous Process Improvement

Pharmacies can harness the analytical capabilities of ChatGPT to evaluate operational data and identify areas for improvement. By continuously refining workflows and customer service, pharmacies can ensure they remain competitive and provide optimal care to their patients. Again, this would require investing into custom development, but the investment would be a fraction of the value generated, especially since the investment is ad-hoc and the benefits are ongoing.

Conclusion

The integration of ChatGPT into pharmacy practice holds immense potential to revolutionise the industry and change pharmacists’ lives by automating key processes, improving customer service, and optimising overall operations. As AI technology continues to advance, the applications of ChatGPT in pharmacy practice will only expand, paving the way for a more efficient and patient-centric healthcare experience.

Much of these require additional development on the pharmacy’s own site. Using ChatGPT’s API as a foundation, however, this is possible.

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LEARN THROUGH VIDEO

LEARN THROUGH READING

Action

In this CPD Action module, I’m going to show you how you can use an application called Trello to help you organise the workload in your pharmacy, but also to help you organise most things in your life.

It’s something that I use every day and has significantly boosted my productivity as well as those I collaborate with on there.

What is Trello and how does it work?

Trello is an online productivity tool, free to use, and is essentially a dashboard where you’re able to create Boards and Lists for anything you like. Within each list, you can create cards, and within these cards, you can do all sorts of things, such as attach notes, links, pictures, and deadlines. Your boards, lists and cards can also be shared with others.

Trello is great for overseeing everything that you need to do visually. It’s simple yet powerful and diverse, can help structure your tasks very effectively and can be accessed pretty much everywhere.

How can it help you in the Pharmacy?

You can use Trello to organise all facets of work in the pharmacy, all under one roof – that’s why I love it so much. For example:

Use it to organise your staff

You can set up a board named “Staff” and within this, you can have a list for each employee you manage, and assign them various cards, such as keeping a record of holidays.

Create boards for specific pharmacy topics

You could name a board “Clinical Governance” and begin building lists in there to structure exactly how you’re going to get it done. Or you could name a board “Quality Payments” and then begin to list the criteria on cards with direct links their relevant instructions on the PSNC website.

Create a board for potential business and prospects

Let’s say you’ve created a Board for GP surgeries and in there you have a list specific for the Manchester Road surgery. A while back you made a card to arrange a meeting with the Practice Manager for a specific day. You can move this card to a list of things that need to be done today or tomorrow and it will show up in there.

Create a board centred around your CPD

You might have a board specific for your CPD learning. Create lists around certain topics and if you find a learning module that you’d like to complete, create a card with a direct link attached to it and set a date and time that you’d like to get it done by. The options really are endless with this tool.

Trello can be used to organise other aspects of your life

I don’t just use Trello for the work I do in the Pharmacy. I have various lists for personal and admin tasks that I need to get done, and I use it extensively for the business I run online. I’m continuously updating new tasks and archiving them once complete, and not only do I know I’m getting things done, I feel a sense of achievement as I do so.

Evaluation

I’ve used plenty of productivity tools in my time and this one tops all of them. The ease of its use and functionality make my work and personal life much more seamless and stress-free, and I’m only using the basic, free option. It might not be for everyone, but if you like to be organised like me, it can make a big difference to your overall productivity and getting things done quicker.

Question time…

  • What other productivity tools do you use?
  • Do you have any other tips about using Trello?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below and if you found this module useful, it would be great if you could share it with your colleagues.

Thanks for visiting and see you in the next learning module!

Saam

 

LEARN THROUGH VIDEO

LEARN THROUGH READING

Reflection

What are we going to learn?

In this module, we’re going to learn about how to delegate effectively as a pharmacist in a team.

How and why is this learning relevant?

The ability to delegate well is such an important asset for a pharmacist and leader of a team because it can significantly improve productivity in all facets of work. However, mastering delegation isn’t easy. It’s a skill that requires practice, experience and time and is something that many pharmacists struggle with, particularly in the early stages of their career and when starting in a new working environment.

Delegation is an essential part of our work. If we can delegate most of the tasks that do not require our input, our work life will improve remarkably. In this module, I’m going to show you a system I have developed called the R.I.D system, R.I.D meaning getting RID of tasks, which when implemented, will always help you delegate more successfully.

Planning and Action

Why is this learning important?

Let’s break down why this learning is important for you, your colleagues, your patients and the organisation you work for.

Pharmacist – There are so many benefits for you as a pharmacist if you know how to delegate effectively. Delegating more of your tasks to others will free up your time in the pharmacy, reduce your workload and allow you to get things done quicker. It’s a leadership skill that can take you further personally and professionally.

Colleagues – By delegating tasks to your staff, it shows that you trust them to do the job and gives them more sense of responsibility. You’ll be upskilling your team and improving overall performance.

Patients – In a well-delegated team, workplace productivity is improved and this ultimately leads to better patient satisfaction. The happier, more organised we are at work, the better a patient is served.

Organisation – And finally, your organisation is gonna love you. You’ll be seen as a solid leader amongst your team which might open up other doors for you within the company.

What can we do to delegate more effectively?

Know your staff

Before I get into the details of the RID system, it’s worth mentioning this first. If you’re going into a new place of work and want to begin delegating quickly and effectively, the best way to do so is by getting to know your staff on a personal level first. It’s so much easier to delegate a task to a dispenser when you already have a relationship with them because a level of trust has already been established. This is a fantastic reference from CarnegieCoach.com which gives you guidance on how you can build bonds with your staff quickly.

Explain the “REASONS” why the task needs doing

The first part of the RID system is to explain the “reasons” why the task your delegating is important. Too often, a task is given to a dispenser with no background to it and therefore it is:

  • Less likely to be adhered to, and
  • Seen more as an “order” rather than a meaningful task

For example, let’s say you want to delegate the job of completing an annual complaints report for your pharmacy to Jen, one of your dispensers.

Instead of saying, “Hi Jen. I need you to create this report for me, please. This needs doing then that needs doing…”

You could say “Hi Jen. I have this task that needs doing. Now, the reason behind it is that as part of our Clinical Governance requirements for pharmacy, we need to submit all of our complaints to the NHS…”

Jen might turn around and ask more about what Clinical Governance is which is great! She’s clearly interested in the job, happy to learn more and purpose is being built around it.

Outline the “INSTRUCTIONS” involved

Once you’ve explained why the reasons behind the task, you need to give them specific instruction on how to complete it. So, going back to the previous example, once you’ve explained to Jen the reasons the report needs doing, you can say something like:

“To get this done, you need to go onto this site and collate all of the information on a word document as such”.

Write the steps down on a piece of paper if Jen finds it easier and make sure each action has been understood.

Give them a “DEADLINE”

And finally, you need to give them a deadline to get the task done. By giving them a time-frame, it gives the person more responsibility for the task. So once you’ve checked their understanding of the actions involved, you could say something like:

“Great. So, I was thinking this could be done for 3pm on Thursday which gives us time to look over it. How does that sound?”

By making the deadline a question, again, you’re giving them more responsibility and ownership of the task and you can both come to an agreement together.

Trust and Support

One more thing to add here is the importance of trusting them to do the work and making sure they know you’re there for support only. Don’t keep checking up or peering over them to make sure they’re doing it right. Let them get on with it and just be there on hand if they have any questions.

Evaluation

Delegation mastery is no easy feat. It requires practice, dedication and a commitment to make it a successful habit, but applying the principles above can help you achieve this. When you know how to delegate more effectively, your work becomes more enjoyable, your team will be more productive as a whole, and you’ll be developing such an important personal skill that can be transferred into all areas of your life.

If you’re new to delegation, then begin by delegating small tasks such as admin work for MUR’s or some other paperwork you may have, but always remember the principles in this module.

Question time…

  • What problems do you have when delegating to others?
  • Do you have any tips about how to delegate better?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below and if you found this module useful, it would be great if you could share it with your colleagues.

Thanks for visiting and see you in the next learning module!

Saam