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In the quest to make healthcare more accessible for all, technology is making strides in bridging the gap between patients and pharmacists.
With the release of PioneerRx’s Message Center, your pharmacy can be a quick message away for your patients. Pharmacies that have enabled RxLocal can now send and receive messages through the RxLocal mobile application on Apple and Android devices.
Stephen Culver, Senior Project Manager in Development at PioneerRx, explains this new feature: The new RxLocal Messaging features allow patients to communicate with their pharmacy in a secure way that wasn’t possible before. Other forms of communication like email aren’t secure, and you could be letting a malicious user access your personal health information without realizing it. Now, you can send messages securely and just as easily as texting someone. Add to that the ability to send photos, and you can now not only describe things to the pharmacy staff, but actually show them, whether it’s potential allergic reactions or helping you determine what a drug is by a picture of the pill. This feature truly gives users a whole new way to interact with their pharmacy that we at PioneerRx are excited to offer.
Many PioneerRx users have quickly embraced the new functionality, including Rannon Ching of Tarrytown Pharmacy. As Pharmacist-In-Charge, he has observed how most of Tarrytown’s patients prefer SMS messages over phone calls. Rannon and his team currently rely on Message Center to notify patients when their prescriptions are ready for pickup, when it’s time to refill compounds, or when a medication is out of stock. All the patient has to do is read the message and type a response, or call the pharmacy, if needed.
For Rannon, this two-way messaging system decreases staff labor while improving the overall patient experience. He also notes the impact this streamlined communication will have on independent pharmacy. “It helps put independent pharmacists on a level reserved for large corporations,” he says. “I really think this is going to give us the upperhand in a world where we feel like we’re trying to catch up.”
As for PioneerRx users who are just getting started with the Message Center and its capabilities, Rannon recommends developing a strategy for how to introduce it to customers. “Don’t be afraid of the technology,” he says. “Just explore it and think of the ways you can utilize two-way messaging for your patients.” For one month, Tarrytown technicians and cashiers educated patients on the availability of text message alerts, then offered to immediately sign them up.
Rannon anticipates using the Message Center for the majority of his patient communication, especially with med sync and compounding patients. Rather than place dozens of calls to med sync patients in one day, a technician can send a message out to all the patients within seconds in order to confirm their monthly refills and answer any questions they may have.
In an age where many question technology’s hindrance on communication, the PioneerRx Message Center is placing pharmacists, the most accessible members of healthcare, within closer reach of their patients.