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Using the WWHAM Pathway in pharmacy to open up a sensitive conversation with patients

The WWHAM Pathway is a tool commonly used in pharmacy to support both pharmacists and counter assistants in opening up a conversation with patients and finding out more about their condition. Generally, pharmacy teams are familiar with the WWHAM questions and how they can be best used in order to deal with common ailments.

Understanding the WWHAM Pathway:

  1. Who is the medicine for? Customers may be asking on behalf of someone else
  2. What are the symptoms? Pharmacy staff can expand on this question to get a full understanding of the symptoms
  3. How long has the patient had the symptoms? Minor ailments can clear up within a few days. Somebody who is experiencing long term symptoms may need to speak to the pharmacist.
  4. What Action has been taken already? This will avoid recommending the same product that a customer has already tried. If a product hasn’t worked it may be best to refer them to the pharmacist.
  5. Are they taking any other medication? This includes prescribed medicines and OTC, herbal or other supplements which can interact with other medicines.

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