Culture

Meet the Team: Carrieann McAulay, Patient Care Team

November 23, 2021
6 minute read
Lucy Drennan

Tell us a bit about your background and what attracted you to working with Phlo?

After I left school, I wasn’t 100% sure what career path I wanted to take. I started working as a medicine counter assistant in a pharmacy which is where my passion for patient care started. I became the first person customers had any interaction with when walking into the pharmacy which made me more motivated to grow my customer service skills to ensure all patients left the pharmacy satisfied.

My role involved advising patients on over the counter (OTC) products, promoting pharmacy services, knowing when to refer patient queries to the pharmacist for medical advice and learning how to provide the best patient experience. I completed my full training there including dispensing within the pharmacy.

Working within community pharmacies is all I’ve ever known and I was really keen to see what other opportunities were out there, whilst staying within the same career that I loved. Digital pharmacy was something that was completely new to me. After reading Phlo’s mission and seeing how they are redefining the pharmacy experience, it became my goal to join a successful start-up digital pharmacy like Phlo. I related to building meaningful and trustworthy relationships with patients and making life more convenient for patients, I knew I wanted to be a part of that!

What does your role entail at Phlo and what does a typical day look like for you?

My main role, and one of the most important roles, is providing an outstanding experience for all of our patients. As well as this, a typical day includes answering patient queries, referring patients for medical advice and sending medication requests from patients to their GP.

My day starts off with a team call in the morning to divide up all the daily tasks and to address any urgent patient queries that have come in from the previous night so we can action these.

Other tasks include updating patients on any surgery replies, for example, surgeries can sometimes reply to say a patient may be due a medication review or due to get blood tests so I relay this back to the patient quickly so they are kept up to date with their medication request to prevent any further delays. This also helps with taking pressure off of surgeries. I also follow up with any previous pending requests to ensure they are in the processing stage with the surgery.

One of my other main tasks is to make sure all dispatched medication has been delivered successfully to our patients within the expected time frame. This gives me the opportunity to contact a patient if I see they’ve missed a delivery so we can quickly have it rescheduled or collected to prevent any further delays on their medication.

We are always in contact with the pharmacy team to support them in dispensing prescriptions and we are aware of every step of the service so we can give our patients the assurance their medication is being taken care of.

How do you support patients and ensure they receive a great service?

Supporting patients is the most important thing. We continuously check each channel a patient can contact us on so any queries are picked up instantly and we utilise what the best action to take is to solve the query in an efficient and timely manner.  

I enjoy speaking to patients directly on the phone and always offer the option for a phone call because it gives both the patient and I the chance to ask any questions and resolve them quickly, and I get a better understanding of the patient’s emotions to figure out the best steps and keep the patient up to date. I always make sure the patient is happy with how their query was handled and if they require anything further, they have the information on how to get back in contact.

What (in your opinion) is the most important aspect of your job?

Undoubtably, the most important aspect of the job is to ensure our patients trust our pharmacy in handling their prescriptions and providing the best patient care experience. Trusting a pharmacy to handle a major part of your life is absolutely key. Patients want to know their medication has been ordered and dispensed correctly, and that it will arrive on time. As my background is in community pharmacy it still amazes me just how fast we are at Phlo and how smooth the prescription service is.

As a team, we all work really well together in ensuring all patients specific needs are met and nobody is left unheard or that their concerns weren’t taken on board. Being attentive and respectful can really shape how a patient views you as a person and a company, and they’ll use our service again knowing their medication needs are in the right hands.

What makes Phlo different and why do you think people should switch to using Phlo to get their medication?

Phlo is different because the objective is to make obtaining your medication easier and stress-free. What I love is how we give people the option to have their medication delivered to a different address, for example their work place. Coming from a community pharmacy background, I’d see this be a hassle for people so much if they were working and rushing to make it down to the pharmacy before we closed to collect their prescription. Phlo completely takes that stress away and you can manage and track the full process of your order all through the app! I think this takes a lot of anxiety away for patients worried about receiving their medication on time and could have some serious health implications if they miss their medication.

As a start-up company, any feedback is always welcome and taken seriously. If a patient suggests something that could make their process easier, it’s always passed onto the relevant department to discuss what can be done. I remember from community pharmacies the suggestions box was rarely looked at let alone implemented.

I think patients should switch to Phlo because we take care of the whole process on their behalf, as soon as they order the medication until it’s at their doorstep. Patients will be regularly kept up to date, for example if the pharmacy team are waiting on stock coming in to fulfil a prescription, the patient will be aware of that via notifications they receive and this gives patients peace of mind. Using a community pharmacy, you would have to call the practice to chase a GP’s approval or find out where your prescriptions is in the process which actually further delays the pharmacy. At Phlo we take care of all of that for patients which I think is amazing.

What do you most enjoy about your role?

The thing I enjoy most about the job is the satisfaction I get knowing I’ve been part of the process of a patient having a good experience. I like speaking to a range of different people daily and I love the patient care team I’m in. I learn so much from the others which wants me to better myself and helps me provide the best customer experience. I also like not knowing what to expect when I start my day - and no two days really are the same!

Because my role is patient focused, I really like keeping up to date with what happens in the company through our slack channels. It excites me because there is always something new in the pipelines and seeing how Phlo develops! One of the things I also love is seeing our Trust pilot reviews, if I know I’ve helped someone come to a positive opinion of Phlo, it makes me strive to want to do the same for each person that I interact with.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I’m quite a laid-back person and always set aside time for myself to be able to focus on my mental health and wellbeing. I love relaxing and watching new documentaries on pretty much anything! I love watching Louie Theroux and learning about different topics. I also like to spend time with friends and family which is important to me. And I’m also a massive fan of music, ranging from ACDC to Adele. I love going to gigs and have seen the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Foo Fighters three times each!

If you'd like to join the Phlo team and help us shape the future of Pharmacy, check out our vacancies on our careers page.

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