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Each year, APP Chairman Kos Sclavos AM is asked to share his top APP program highlights – a difficult task given the calibre of sessions and speakers. Below are Kos’s top 20 picks for 2023 (in conference date and time order):
Here are the APP Convenor’s top 20 must-attend sessions (in conference date and time order):
1) Ownership, operations and oversight – getting the pharmacy acquisition, day to day, and management right (Wednesday PM) My suggestion is to get to the Gold Coast One day early and start your APP experience with a pre-conference workshop. The Australasian College of Pharmacy and CommBank Health will facilitate an interactive workshop that will provide three key sessions to upskill attendees on:
a) Obtaining the right support to identify and purchase a pharmacy
b) Creating efficiency through technology in managing day to day operations and implementing
c) Utilising operational and financial data from your pharmacy, to set and manage KPIs, track trends and make better decisions to improve your pharmacy and bottom line.
2) Opening Address and Pharmacy of The Year winners (Thursday AM) Hear from Guild National President, Professor Trent Twomey, about the Guild’s vision for the next 12 months and beyond and be inspired by the Pharmacy of the Year winners. What a way to kick off the conference program.
3) Alan Russell Oration – Pharmacists practising at full scope – lessons from the UK (Thursday AM) We are delighted to feature on our program a special guest speaker from the UK, qualified pharmacist and Secretary General of the World Pharmacy Council, Mark Burdon. As the pharmacy profession in Australia embraces pharmacists practicing at full scope, now is the ideal time to review how full scope is evolving the UK setting. Mark will detail lessons for Australia, which will assist pharmacists in understanding the meaning of ‘full scope’ and why it must be embraced.
4) Your pharmacy’s risk of cyber-attack is real, and the consequences are significant. Are you doing enough to prevent a disaster? (Thursday PM) The Medibank Private cyberattack which saw the sensitive and personal data of millions of Australians being stolen, sent shockwaves through the health community. Attacks such as these can cause serious harm to the victims, from identity theft to blackmail. The impact to the businesses is devastating, including massive financial costs, reputational damage and job losses. Privacy legislation is now being tightened and penalties for businesses which fail to adequately protect this data is increasing significantly. Your pharmacy is potentially at risk – you must take reasonable steps to protect it now.
5) Rural Pharmacy Forum Innovation and Access (Thursday PM) Amongst a talented array of speakers, we are delighted The Hon Emma McBride MP, Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, and the only pharmacist in the Federal Parliament, will be presenting. Working in regional, rural, and remote pharmacies across Australia offers unique opportunities that pharmacists and pharmacy assistants in urban areas may find hard to imagine. In this forum, participants will hear of first-hand experiences and knowledge of rural community pharmacists on how they ensure their workforce is adapting to provide innovative services for their patients and their communities now and into the future.
6) The Adaptability Quotient (Thursday PM) This session will be a conference highlight! Future Crunch are part of a global movement of scientists, technologists and creatives who think there are new and better ways of doing things in the 21st century. Find out why the most important business skill is adaptability, how to embrace this mindset, and how to adopt the tools required to help you thrive in this complex, chaotic and unpredictable world in which we now find ourselves.
7) Hot topics in COVID-19 vaccination (Thursday PM) Dr Paul Griffin, Infectious Diseases Physician and Microbiologist, is a regular in the national media discussing COVID-19 related issues. This session will provide topline updates on the evolving data relating to COVID-19 vaccination - emerging data on relative benefits, vaccine-types (e.g. bivalents), updated vaccines and data on the risk/benefits balance, including emerging data on vaccination and protection against non-acute COVID-19.
8) Guild Member (Proprietor) Only Breakfast: Industry Update (Friday AM) In this closed session, Guild Members will hear from the Guild National President, Professor Trent Twomey. The Guild’s advocacy is achieving a number of major wins for community pharmacy, and as one would expect, there are a number of key issues that can’t be discussed in public. It is worth coming to APP for this key briefing alone!
9) The Panel: State of the Industry (Friday AM) One of my favourite sessions, always. Hear from leaders of Consumer Healthcare Products Australia, Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association, Medicines Australia, National Pharmaceutical Services Association, and The Pharmacy Guild of Australia. As the Federal Government deals with debt and deficit, the pharmaceutical industry needs to stick together and resist being the target of Government saving.
10) The power of perspective (Friday AM) Get ready to be inspired! A fighter since birth, Michael Crossland has defied the odds of surviving not only a rare form of life-threatening cancer, but as the sole survivor of a horrific cancer drug trial. In this session, Michael will share his remarkably inspiring story of overcoming extreme adversity to achieve incredible outcomes in both his personal and professional life. His presentation will help shift your mindset.
11) Turning customers into advocates (Friday AM) Amanda Stevens is a renowned thought leader on the customer experience who combines current consumer insights with fascinating research into buying behaviour. In this session, Amanda will explore why your existing customer base is possibly the greatest hidden asset in any business and will outline a plan to create a brand that customers willingly and enthusiastically rave about. She will also explore why the combination of high tech and high touch is the next frontier in brand disruption.
12) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Cultural Safety (Friday PM) Community pharmacies play a vital role in improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities. Cultural safety is a continuous journey of learning which can be complex and challenging, but at its core, is crucial for pharmacies seeking to embed cultural safety into their practice, for the communities they serve. Cultural safety is determined by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals, families, and communities. As pharmacists there is so much we need to understand and work closer with our First Nations people.
13) The future pharmacy workforce – what does it look like? (Saturday AM) Community Pharmacy faces significant workforce challenges, with no quick fix in sight. How can Community Pharmacy adapt to deal with these challenges? This session will discuss some of the key issues that will shape the future workforce of pharmacy. Key influences in the future workforce include our university sector and the structure of the pharmacy degree, remuneration levels for pharmacists, pharmacy viability via Community Pharmacy Agreement remuneration, the capacity that pharmacists practice at full scope and its associated remuneration, and the degree to which enablers assist pharmacy operations, e.g. IT facilitation.
14) A step towards better children’s pain management in pharmacy (Saturday AM) As State and Territory Government Emergency departments deal with clogged waiting rooms and doctor waiting times become longer, children with pain and their concerned parents will increasingly present at pharmacies. This session is an ideal opportunity to receive a clinical update on this topic.
15) Ann Dalton Address: Unmask your potential (Saturday AM) Turia Pitt is living proof that, with the right mindset, anything is possible. Caught in a grassfire while competing in an ultramarathon in 2011, Turia suffered burns to 65% of her body. But surviving is the least of her achievements. One of Australia’s most admired and widely recognised people, Turia has gone on to become a bestselling author, a two-time Ironman and a humanitarian, and has inspired millions to live with more confidence, conquer their fears and chase down their wildest dreams.
16) Buying and selling a pharmacy today (Saturday PM) There are approximately 800 pharmacy ownership changes a year. This session will provide an overview of the negotiations involved in the buying and selling of pharmacies, the funding options available for purchase, and a full explanation of the process regarding the execution of the sale.
17) Full scope – what it means for your business (Saturday PM) I look forward to facilitating this session. Starting with the North Queensland Community Pharmacy Scope of Practice Pilot and continuing with the domino of announcements across states and territories, it is an exciting time for pharmacist practising at full scope. This session will bring pharmacists, pharmacy managers and pharmacy staff up to date with programs across Australia and will allow the pharmacy sector to prepare for this opportunity.
18) Pharmacists supporting patients impacted by urinary tract infection (UTI) (Saturday PM) The success of the Urinary Tract Infection Pharmacy Pilot in Queensland has resulted in the service becoming a permanent feature of care in Queensland pharmacies, and has now seen further announcements across other states and territories. This session will cover the program roll-out across Australia.
19) De-mystifying the picture of financing a pharmacy (Saturday PM) Obtaining finance can be an anxious period for current and aspiring pharmacy owners. In this session, CBA will provide insights into how to be “buy ready” and obtain finance. The team will share insights on how to set yourself up for success, including the key metrics to track and monitor in your pharmacy.
20) Sunday Professional Stream (Sunday AM) The Sunday program presents an opportunity to take in-depth look into key areas of pharmacy practice including clinical governance. This day is a must to new pharmacy managers or pharmacy owners.
Finally, a reminder to view the program on the APP website on a regular basis, or sign up to our APP e-news, as the program will be continually updated in the lead up to APP2023.
Kos Sclavos AM reveals APP2023’s top 20 “must attend” sessions
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