Locumate Pharmacy Tech Platform

Episode 39

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In this episode of the Pharmacy View Podcast, host Scott Carpenter, EVBC talks to the charismatic duo of Pharmacist Kavita Nadan and Tech Wizard Surge Singh about their Locumate platform, the goal of which is to create efficiency between Pharmacy Teams and Locums in Australia. With Locumate, Locums can find the perfect shifts, get paid on time and get access to additional educational resources to help them grow their career as pharmacists.

With the pandemic came crazy numbers, both in terms of volume and scripts, and it was hard to get the pharmacists every single time, recalls Kavita. To save the day, came the Locums but Kavita was startled at the bills that she had to pay at the end of every month. She had been questioning the process of hiring the locums for years and this added to the list; she knew there were issues: hiring them being such a manual process, their rates being based on where they were coming from, inability to keep track of the feedback, among others. She shared her concerns with Surge, who, being a tech architect, did what he knows to do best: he searched for what such a process would look like in an ideal world. Having found that the ‘ideal’ was missing, he sat down and designed one. To do so, they talked not only to the Locums but also to the pharmacists and soon figured out that the pain was felt on both sides. They then built a prototype and took it to the market and the overwhelming response was, “When can we get the actual thing?”

Soon after the soft launch, the got feedback from the Locums saying that the process of invoicing was one of their main concerns. And even though the team had planned that the payment model was to be integrated 12 months down the line, they decided that incorporating feedback as they went was the best way to enhance the user experience. They fast tracked the process and the result was that they were able to automate the invoicing and time sheet keeping process for the Locums. In addition, incorporation of several data collection points has meant that the system can keep track of other concerns like: whether of not each locum meets the compliance standards, the schedules for the Locums, setting reminders, and many other such things. The idea being that the collected data would help establish patterns and those can then be used by Locums and Pharmacists alike to make better decisions.

In the near future, while the platform looks forward to integrating Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, both Kavita and Surge stand by their commitment to building trust and confidence among their clients by engaging in constant feedback loops so that everyone involved gets a better experience.  

Topics Covered

  • Problems Faced When Hiring Locums
  • Need for the Process to be Automated
  • How Locumate helps both Locums and Pharmacists
  • Solving the Issue of Invoicing
  • Integrating Feedback into the Product
  • Uses of Data Collected
  • Future Possibilities with Locumate

Key Quotes (Time Stamps)

  • “What should the ideal world look like? We found there was a lot missing. So, we went through a process of not only talking to pharmacy owners, managers, pharmacists in-charge, but we also talked to the locums. And we looked at it like: we need to improve the process for both parties” (3:51 – 4:07)
  • “To our surprise, there was just as much frustration on the locums’ side as there was on the pharmacy side.” (4:08 – 4:12)
  • “As soon as they finish the shift, they submit the timesheet, and the timesheet gets approved. The system will automatically generate invoice for them.” (5:45 – 5:50)
  • “Within a week, we had automated a process in the system to collect verification of vaccination. So, if you think about the data collection points, we’ve now got a database where we can ensure that every locum that’s walking into a pharmacy meets those compliance requirements.” (6:08 – 6:23)
  • “The core product is the ability for a pharmacy to say, “I need someone”, a locum to say, “Yup! I’ll grab that shift.”” (7:00 – 7:08)
  • “If we fast-forward 12-24 months down the track, you know, we’re very heavily focused on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to be a key component of the product.” (11:54 – 12:05)
  • “You never stop. You never stop innovating. The product is always evolving. It still delivers the service that you need delivered, Day 1. However, the way you do it changes over time to meet the different requirements for both parties.”  (14:51 – 15:05)
  • “When we talk to students…, we are finding that something like this, where they have the ability to choose their hours, choose their rates, choose when they want to work; it just really appeals to this new demographic of pharmacists coming out.” (14:16 – 15:37)

Social Media Clips (Time Stamps)

  • Issues around Hiring Locums (1:45 – 3:00)
  • Need to Automate the Process (3:20 – 3:36)
  • From Prototyping to Taking it to the Market (3:47 – 5:04)
  • Solving the Issue of Invoicing (5:18 – 5:50)
  • Use of Collected Data and Future Possibilities (5:51 – 6:19)
  • Integrating Feedback and Improving the Product (7:00 – 7:47) 
  • Preparedness for Times of Emergency and Shortage (10:17 – 12:51)
  • Possibilities for Up-and-Coming Pharmacists (14:16 – 16:18)
  • Journey of Onboarding a Locum (21:54 – 23:32)

Useful Links

Scott Carpenter, EVBC | LinkedIn

Shopfront Solutions: Overview | LinkedIn

Shopfront Solutions

Aerion Technologies: Overview | LinkedIn

Aerion Technologies | Helping Non Techs Build Better Tech

Pharmacy View Podcast: Overview | LinkedIn

Pharmacy View

Home – Locumate

Locumate: Overview | LinkedIn

Kavita Nadan | LinkedIn

Surge Singh | LinkedIn

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Episode 39