Today we say farewell to the Epic Aged Care Pharmacy teams at Annerley, Sandgate and Toowoomba as the sites and aged care pharmacy services they deliver transfer to Aspect Health.
Over the course of our pharmacy careers Stuart and I have had to say good bye to teams on many occasions, sometimes through the sale of a site, sometimes via the transition of a contract, and it is never easy. This one is particularly poignant, as our pharmacy ownership journey started with pharmacies delivering aged care services back in 1998 with the Active Care sites.
Since then there have been so many incredible ups and downs – working through the challenges of contracts lost, celebrating the contracts won and renewed, and the milestones achieved both internally and externally.
The APHS (now Epic) Aged Care teams have been responsible for initiatives that have truly changed the way aged care pharmacy services are delivered in Australia. They were the first in Australia to introduce automated packaging technology, initially back at St Andrews and then from the basement at Greenslopes Private Hospital, before that spun out into the separate APHS Packaging business. The improved level of accuracy and ease of administration that this technology provided to the aged care sector has significantly reduced medication administration errors and enabled improved care to thousands of elderly Australians.
Systems built and created in-house like Chartprint were also game changers, ensuring that the medication charts and administration records used in our aged care facilities matched the information contained within the pharmacy dispensing systems rather than being two separate sources of information.
Aged Care’s early embracing of Health Director also played a significant role in the development of that platform, and enabled many of the features that are now in widespread use across the hospital and cancer care pharmacies within the Icon Group network.
As a team Aged Care have not only always lived true to the Innovate value as illustrated here, but have always embodied all of the core values in the way they go about their day. Their positive energy is always on display, and their commitment and connection to their customers is clearly evidenced by the long term relationships they have established – I think the vast majority of the facilities have been our customers for more than 10 years, and many more than 15, which is a real testament to the quality of the services the team delivers.
One constant has been the ability of the teams to deal with and embrace the changes they have been dealt. Whether that be relocation of physical pharmacy sites, full transformations of supply and service models as Packaging was first born and then moved out, and this year the extreme disruption that the pandemic has created, the Aged Care team have always approached the opportunities that change can create and I know they will bring that same positive attitude into this latest change.
We wish you all the very best as you move to working with Sanam and her team at Aspect Health, and thank you so very very much for the truly Epic role you have played in creating and delivering an aged care pharmacy service that we’ve been so very very proud of.