LEARN THROUGH VIDEO
LEARN THROUGH READING
What are we going to learn?
How and why is this learning relevant?
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!