The role of the community pharmacy

Day Lewis Pharmacy is supporting a new multidisciplinary collaborative project aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). In conjunction with University of Reading and Arts & Humanities Research Council, the competition poses the question:

“How can architectural and information design help in the fight against anti-microbial resistance?”

CCD was recently selected as one of five finalists in the AMR Pharmacy competition. Our team combines a mixture of skills including of human factors, design research, information design, interior design, and a pharmacist.

The video below is from the competition Ideas Lab, where teams talked to different user groups and brainstormed ideas. Look out for CCD’s team and hear from Dan about the ideas lab!

The role of the community pharmacy: our thoughts and what we’ve learnt in our AMR journey so far.

The pharmacy space often has a cluttered “mishmash” feel to the products and information within it, a token gesture of information rather than a dedicated purpose. Sometimes, they even have a ‘displaying it because I have to’ feeling.

Historically, there isn’t much diversity in the pharmacy environment – one to the next they are all very similar.  By-and-large, the same can be said of educational medical information: posters in pharmacies, leaflets at the doctor’s information stand, usually text-heavy and somewhat lacking in creativity. It might contain the right information – crucial information – but does it make you want to read it? No.

Of course, there is likely to have been good reason for these design solutions at one point or another, but that doesn’t make it good design and it doesn’t make it relevant to today’s users. That’s where CCD’s AMR team come into play. Starting with understanding the needs of pharmacy users as well as understanding the motives of the community pharmacists themselves, we aim to provide a well-considered solution and meet the needs for the community as a whole.

That’s what we’ve been experimenting with the AMR competition. Starting with understanding users needs the CCD AMR team are asking ‘why’ every step of the way. Antibiotics have created a dangerously dependent culture. The challenge to raise awareness of AMR and communicate the dangers of antibiotic resistance is significant, and the community pharmacy can play a key role in its success.

A community pharmacy should be exactly that: a community, a central hub of health management activity. Your first port-of-call if you are unwell. The role of the pharmacist in health management needs to evolve. People need to understand their body and the pharmacy needs to play a significant role in that.

The outputs aim to change people’s expectations and behaviour around antibiotics by helping them understand that they’re not a ‘cure all’, and that using them in the wrong situations may mean they don’t work when you do need them.

Want to know how our human factors consulting can help you? Get in touch.

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Dan Simmons

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