Since inception in April this year, over 2000 pharmacists, dispensary staff, OTC merchandisers and pharmacy interns have engaged with the programme, in the form of an app, which covered 30 training courses. The programme has now been extended to 373 clinic sisters. “We saw excellent results with the Smart-Cnnect app for our pharmacy staff, and based on the imperative to continually upskill our workforce, it made sense to extend this to clinic sisters who provide an extremely valuable primary health service to hundreds and thousands of consumers,” says Saul Saltzman, executive director at Dis-Chem.
The app is a digital training experience tailored for Dis-Chem nationwide, and will provide clinic sisters with the required category, product and continuous professional development (CPD) training they need, all using their mobile devices. The first training modules will cover a broad range of topics ranging from fungal skin conditions, managing diabetes and supporting patients in the correct use of diabetes devices; infant and children pain and fever management and infant nutrition.
“Further empowering our clinic nurses with greater healthcare knowledge allows us to offer a better service to patients who visit our clinics for diabetic care and advice, wellness tests ranging from blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol, feminine health as well as child and infant care. The clinic nurse is in the ideal position to support patients with advice and they offer an indispensable role in supporting moms with infants and children – especially during vaccination appointments,” says Saltzman.
From the time it was introduced to pharmacy staff in April, over 39 000 courses, with a 97% engagement rate, have been completed across the Dis-Chem group. Staff have spent over 65 300 hours on training, averaging 6,7 hours per staffer per month, with an average completion score of 97%. More impressive is the average score of 85% which indicates a growing and very strong knowledge base across all candidates.
Mark Uria, chief executive officer at Smart Media, the in-store advertising innovator which partnered with e-learning provider Cnnect™ to deliver training solutions to Dis-Chem says the mobile option negates the disruption and down time that is inherent in traditional training. This is even more apparent in a pharmacy environment where access to pharmacy and nursing staff for training has traditionally proven to be quite a costly exercise and tedious process with limited measurability.
“We are living in a digital, connected world. Even without the influence of Covid-19 on conventional methods, the days of traditional training are becoming a thing of the past. The success of Smart-Cnnect illustrates the importance of embracing innovative technology which has allowed us to deliver a wide group of Dis-Chem staff with more efficient ways to train and gain an understanding of the products they work with daily,” says Uria.
All content is available offline, lives on the device on which it is downloaded and works equally well across Android and Apple products.
Saltzman says based on success to date, and the imperative for continuous upskilling, the group is considering further extending mobile training to a greater number of Dis-Chem staff in the coming months.