Pharmacist on the rise


Ayomide Ogundipe’s initiative, commitment to patient-centred care, and leadership while interning at Pharmacy777 in Perth has earned her PSA’s Intern of the Year award.

Ms Ogundipe initiated a dementia-friendly working group and – together with input from staff, affected patients and their families – secured accreditation from Dementia Friendly Australia for an action plan.

‘What spurred that on was that late last year one of our patients with quite severe dementia had gone missing. He passed away before he was found,’ Ms Ogundipe said.

‘It really pushed me to come up with solutions that we could offer people to engage with them, support them with medication management, and improve their quality of living,’ she said.

The action plan included medication management solutions, a commitment to seeing 70–80% of support staff trained in dementia-friendly principles and the introduction of personal tracking devices.

‘We have invested in wearable, easy-to-use personal tracking devices that people can hire or purchase,’ she said.

‘They have quite a long battery life and SIM card capability which allows families and carers to contact the patient directly, without them having to press any buttons or engage with the device in any way.’

Initiative in service delivery

Another opportunity Ms Ogundipe saw was for the pharmacy to run a health promotion campaign focusing on community health needs.

So she planned, promoted and secured sponsorship for the five-day ‘Your Health Expo’ exploring nearly a dozen different topics.

‘Earlier in the week we ran a sleep apnoea clinic that helped people learn how to maintain their machines, and provided information about warranties, servicing parts, and the purchase or update of machines,’ she said.

Pharmacists and pharmacy support staff were also able to engage with patients using the Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Engagement Protocol that Ms Ogundipe developed.

‘It’s an easy to use guide that not only improves staff awareness of at-risk patients, but also allows them to have tools readily available to aid comprehensive history taking and referral to general practitioners, with interactions being recorded in dispensing history,’ she explained.

On other days the expo offered health checks, free blood glucose testing, a chance to see the compounding lab in action, sessions on complementary medicines and wound care, and brought in a paediatric nurse and lactation consultant.

‘The expo also made a lot of people realise that we were offering these services all the time, not just on one day a month or week,’ Ms Ogundipe said.

‘We got lots of feedback from patients saying that they really trusted our opinion, asking us when the next health expo would be,’ she said.

Leadership and professional engagement

While completing her intern year, Ms Ogundipe was the National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA) Executive Director of Public Relations, a member of the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) Asia Pacific Regional Office, and a member of PSA Western Australia’s Early Career Pharmacist (ECP) working group.

Ms Ogundipe also helped develop Curtin University’s practical guide to successful fieldwork for millennial students.

‘What inspires me the most about the future of pharmacy is the new ideas that are coming from ECPs – wherever it is they practice they are saying “how can I bring a solution, fill this gap or do that better”,’ she said.