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PharmZap - Improving Communication between Patient and Pharmacy
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PharmZap – Improving Patient/Pharmacy Communication

LEARN THROUGH VIDEO

LEARN THROUGH READING

What are we going to learn?

(Reflection)

 

In this sponsored CPD module, we’re going to learn about a new tool called PharmZap which is designed to help patients and pharmacies communicate more efficiently.

 

How and why is this learning relevant?

(Reflection)

 

The primary way of communication between a patient and a pharmacy has traditionally been and still is, by phone. However, since the evolution of digital health, there are now much better, more efficient solutions to communication.

 

Why is this learning important?

(Planning and Action)

 

Effective communication between patient and pharmacy beyond its brick walls is of paramount importance today. If the current system you have in place is poor, then it poses risks to all aspects of business.

 

For the patient, poor communication can lead to prescriptions not being ordered on time, inconvenience and overall patient dissatisfaction.

 

We all know, as pharmacists, how incredibly frustrating it is when the phone is ringing off the hook. This is a big time-waster in the pharmacy and when the phone remains unanswered, can leave you and your team with consequences down the line.

 

And for your business or organisation, poor communication will ultimately lead to less satisfied patients and financial loss. Most pharmacies only have one telephone line which means if someone is on the phone or on hold, another patient cannot get through. Furthermore, we are often understaffed and even just getting to the phone can be troublesome.

 

What is PharmZap?

(Planning and Action)

 

PharmZap - The improved patient/pharmacy communication tool

PharmZap – The improved patient/pharmacy communication tool

 

PharmZap is a new application designed to reduce these risks by greatly improving and organising your communication with patients and customers. For pharmacies, it is a web-based tool, and for the patient, it is a smartphone app.

 

Download for Apple

Download for Android

 

How does it work?

(Planning and Action)

 

I like to think of PharmZap as the “Messenger for Community Pharmacies” with a load more cool and exciting features that benefit both patient and pharmacy alike.

 

Now, in order for the tool to work, both pharmacy and patient must be signed up to PharmZap. Once a pharmacy is signed up, they will be given a load of marketing material to promote the App to their patients, and PharmZap will market the app to your patients in the locality from their side too.

 

Let me take you through a typical patient – pharmacy communication journey.

 

PharmZap is "The Instant Messenger for Community Pharmacy"

PharmZap is “The Instant Messenger for Community Pharmacy”

 

Let’s say one of your patients, George Bush has a script for Betnovate RD cream. Instead of calling you, he messages you over PharmZap. As soon as he does, you’ll receive a notification if you’re on Chrome and a ticket appears on the dashboard where you’re able to respond.

 

Now, this is where you and your team need to get into the habit of checking your dash on a regular basis. I’d suggest at least 3 times a day, within the opening hours of your pharmacy, and if you forget to respond, you’ll see the ticket turn red, which will encourage you to.

 

When you click on the tab, you’ll be able to respond to the patient appropriately and deal with the query there and then. Or, if you’re short of time at that point, you can nicely triage the ticket into one of the silo’s you can create. In this example, I’m going to create the silo, “Rx items to order”, and then place the ticket there to attend to at the end of the day.

 

Oh, it looks like I just got a message from Margaret. Let’s see what she wants…to order her Salbutamol inhaler. I’ll respond to her right now and place this ticket in the Repeat Requests Silo for my dispenser to order later.

 

Much less stress than a phone call and much more organised than paper.

 

“PharmZap is an excellent direct marketing tool”

 

But PharmZap is more than just a communication tool. It’s a marketing tool. On your profile, you’re able to provide a summary or full description of your pharmacy for patients to see, as well as the pharmacy services you offer and opening times.

 

Update your "subscribers" with direct messaging feature

Update your “subscribers” with the direct messaging feature

 

And, very importantly, as more and more patients subscribe to your pharmacy, you’ll be able to market your products and services directly to them. This is probably one of the most powerful marketing tools you can have, but precaution is needed as to not spam and annoy patients in the process.

 

And one other feature that is definitely worth mentioning is the ZAP feature. If a patient is in need of a rare medicine, for example, Co-Amoxiclav Suspension for their child, they are able to ZAP several pharmacies at once instead of ringing around. How convenient is that for the patient?

 

Pharmacies are able to respond as soon as they can to the message to let the patient know if they have any or not. Very handy indeed.

 

Evaluation

 

Allowing patient and pharmacies to communicate digitally

Allowing patient and pharmacies to communicate digitally

 

PharmZap provides an excellent alternative route of communication for patients and pharmacy that is helping to reduce phone calls in the pharmacy, reduce stress and improve workflow. Digital communication is far more convenient for both pharmacy and patient and it will eventually surpass telephone calls.

 

But it’s also an additional direct marketing tool which can help improve patient retention and satisfaction, and drive footfall and increase sales.

 

For pharmacies, this product is free to trial for the first 2 months and only £9.95 thereafter. For all those benefits you’ve seen today, I’d say that’s an investment very worthwhile.

 

For more info and to register for free, visit www.pharmzap.com.

 

Add to your MyGPhC Records

 

If you’d like to talk to us about getting digital, or anything related, please feel free to contact us and we’d be glad to assist you. Also, don’t forget to check out The Ultimate Guide to Driving Your Pharmacy Business in the Digital Age, a free 70-page manual, that is really helping pharmacists understand the importance of new and emerging technologies.

 

Thanks for visiting and see you in the next learning module!

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6 Extremely Useful Apps in Community Pharmacy 2017

LEARN THROUGH VIDEO

LEARN THROUGH READING

Are you using any Apps in practice?

Something that I believe to be just as important as having the BNF, MEP and Drug Tariff in the Community Pharmacy setting is the Smartphone. Let’s face it, the iPhone 6 is probably the most advanced piece of equipment you’ll have in your pharmacy and it’s packed full of extremely useful apps. I’m gonna mention 6 of those which I use on a very regular basis which are helping me with my business and practice.

1) Google Chrome

Number 1 is without a doubt, Google Chrome. You have literally the world at your fingertips with this app, so if you’re posed with a question you’re not sure about, just Google it! Let me give you a quick example of how I used it the other day.

A woman came into the pharmacy with a script for Zoff Adhesive remover for her diabetic son, which we didn’t have in stock. In fact, it was a manufacturing problem. So she asked us to see if we could get an alternative for her. While the dispenser I was working with scrolled slowly through the pages of the Drug Tariff and C&D, I simply flipped open Chrome and spoke to it, saying “zoff adhesive remover alternative for diabetics”. It brought me to a forum where there were loads of alternatives and actually, she ended up buying a Boots plaster remover spray which worked even better than the Zoff. Google just saved the patient loads of time and the NHS a prescription item every month. Just Google it!

Download for Apple

Download for Android

2) Google Translate

Keeping on the Google train, Google Translate is an absolute gem of an app that all pharmacist must have. If posed with a patient who struggles with the same language as you, Google translate will help you. Simply select the language of the patient and speak into the app. Extremely useful and important in making sure the patient understands what you’re advising.

Download for Apple

Download for Android

3) Medscape

While the BNF remains the number one reference for clinical dosages in the UK, Medscape, in my opinion, is the best Clinical App for pharmacists out there. It’s the user interface that does it for me – very easy to navigate and the knowledge base is outstanding. It’s what I use to check clinical conditions, drug interactions, symptoms and treatment options.

Download for Apple

Download for Android

4) Facebook

Since I run a Social Media strategy for the pharmacy I’m contracted to, the Facebook app is imperative. But not only can I drive the business through the Facebook app, it’s extremely handy in helping me with specific pharmacy queries because of the groups I’m part of. If I have a query with a prescription I’m not sure about, for example, I can post it to the group where 5000 other pharmacists will see it and advise me of the best course of action.

Download for Apple

Download for Android

5) Pro Delivery Manager

Now, I lied at the start of this blog when I said I’ve used all of these apps because I haven’t used Pro Delivery Driver. I’m sorry about that. Having said that, I have full confidence that this app is going to be extremely useful for Independents and I’m trying to get the chain I work with to trial it. They claim to improve efficiencies and communication with customers and the Social Proofing seems to back this up. Are you using Pro Delivery Driver? If so, let me know what you think about it in the comments below.

Download for Apple

Download for Android

6) Trello

And finally, I can’t not mention Trello – the best productivity app in the world. I use it every day to schedule my tasks in the pharmacy and share objectives with the team across the company. It just makes communication so much better.

Download for Apple

Download for Android

Apps make your business and practice easier

 

So there you have it, the smartphone and some apps that go with it making life so much easier for me in the pharmacy. Of course, there are so many other apps that pharmacists and pharmacies are using to benefit their business and practice, and I’d love to hear about them. If you’d like to share how you might be using an app, comment below so our fellow colleagues can check them out.

Thanks for visiting and see you in the next learning module!

Saam