The healthcare industry in its entirety is becoming more aware of what QS/1 has known for some time now; pharmacists are the heroes of healthcare. As heroes, pharmacists can intervene, nurture patient populations, help lower overall healthcare costs and decrease patient hospitalizations. Pharmacists want to make a difference in the lives of patients, and actions like these excite all parties involved. Pharmacists everywhere can spend more time engaging patients and bringing about change, but that raises a question. When time is in short supply, where can one find more of it?
Pharmacists are more accessible than other healthcare providers. In fact, “nearly 90% of Americans live within 5 miles of a community pharmacy.”1 However, demands placed on pharmacists have steadily increased; with pharmacy benefit managers’ (PBMs’) direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees, clawback legislative changes and changing payment models, pharmacists with free time are scarce.
Pharmacists have to use technology to enhance patient engagement, and QS/1’s Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System and CornerDrugstore.com (CDS) allow pharmacists to effectively and efficiently engage patients.
QS/1’s IVR provides customer convenience with easy refills, 24/7 pharmacy access and reduced wait times on hold and in the store. Plus, with outbound IVR, you can provide automatic refill and pick-up reminders. Your employees will benefit from greater efficiency, reduced stress and fewer disruptions. Using IVR may decrease employee-answered phone calls by up to 85 percent. With QS/1’s IVR, you can notify patients when their orders have been shipped; if you ship it next day, you can specify that the patient be notified the item will arrive the next business day.
IVR customers can do batch adherence callouts to call patients informing them they have refills almost due; the patient can choose to have the item filled or not. If the patient chooses to allow the order to be filled, and InstantFill® is turned on, the system can send the item for label printing and adjudication. IVR allows promotional messages to play when patients are on hold and reminds them of specials, educational sessions and enhanced services available at your location. If a patient requests a refill via IVR, the QS/1 application verifies there are fills remaining and automatically sends a refill request to the prescriber if the patient chooses to do so.
Pharmacies must have a web presence. QS/1 can help with that. It is common knowledge that nearly everyone younger than age 50 uses the Internet. However, a Pew Research Center study found that 76 percent of those 60-69 years of age also use the Internet, and approximately 61 percent of those between the ages of 70 and 87 use the Internet.2
Those approximately 60 years of age are much more active on the Web than those who are 10 years older. However, nearly 46 percent of those age 60-69 access the Internet with smartphones; and 41 percent of the same age group use tablets.3 Of course, younger generations are more likely to adopt new technology and are more technologically advanced. According to another Pew Research Center study, “In 2000, 70% of young adults used the Internet and that figure has steadily grown to 96% today.”4
Pharmacies have to reach patients where they are: online. CDS offers a complete line of services designed to fulfill website needs without having to add IT resources or a web developer. CDS allows pharmacies to keep patients informed about enhanced pharmacy services (e.g., medication reconciliation, comprehensive medication review, immunizations, etc.) by marketing those services. Patients can access all CDS features from any computer, tablet or smartphone; the site scales to the device’s screen as needed. Once logged in, patients can send secure messages to pharmacists and then view the answers. Also, patients can view their entire prescription profile.
The following tools, made available to all CDS customers, allow pharmacists to quantify patients’ risks, indicating a need for lifestyle changes and additional health information:
- Body mass index calculator
- Ideal body weight
- Nutritional needs calculator
- Waist hip calculator
Patients can access other health and wellness tools on the site as well. The calorie burner counter determines how many calories are burned during specific activities (e.g., backpacking, running, mowing the lawn, etc.). The nutritional needs calculator determines how many calories a patient needs to consume in order to lose, maintain or gain weight.
The pharmacy’s logo can be uploaded, the color scheme changed and photos of the pharmacy staff displayed. Patients can use the site to:
- Locate the pharmacy
- Submit refills
- Submit contact information
- View store policies and hours of operation
- Review owner’s biographical information
- Review customer testimonials
The ability to make a difference in the lives of your patients can be tied to how effectively you use technology. QS/1 knows its customers are most fulfilled when they improve the lives of their patients, and QS/1 is most fulfilled when it provides tools that allow our customers to do so. A lot of pharmacy heroes save the day using QS/1’s products and services. The demand for pharmacy services is only going to increase. Let technology do some of the work for you, so you can focus on what is most important: patients and their overall health outcomes.
1 Kelling, Sarah E. “Exploring Accessibility of Community Pharmacy Services.” Innovations in Pharmacy. 2015. Web. 23 Nov. 2016. http://pubs.lib.umn.edu/innovations/vol6/iss3/6
2, 3 Rainie, Lee and Andrew Perrin. “Technology Adoption by Baby Boomers (and everybody else).” Pew Research Center. March 22, 2016. Web. 29 Nov. 2016. http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/03/22/technology-adoption-by-baby-boomers-and-everybody-else/
4 Perrin, Andrew and Maeve Duggan. “Americans’ Internet Access: 2000-2015.” Pew Research Center. June 26, 2015. Web. 29 Nov. 2016. http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/06/26/americans-internet-access-2000-2015/