Specialty pharmacies need processes, systems, and tools to quickly determine medication delivery status, reassure, and relieve patient anxiety.
In previous articles, we examined several ways that specialty pharmacies can be proactive with their outreach to patients and inform them of the delivery status of their medications or packages:
- The correlation between a pharmacy’s ability to leverage multiple personalized communication channels, such as email and mobile text messages, and increased patient engagement.
- Leveraging package tracking technology with data, insights and predictive analytics, before an order is shipped, can improve pharmacy operational processes and front-end planning to minimize lost or delayed packages and improve patient satisfaction.
- When obstacles occur in real time, such as weather conditions, extreme temperatures, or environmental changes, specialty pharmacies must be able to monitor all critical patient medications, proactively communicate with patients, and rescue critical items and packages that are compromised or damaged. cannot be delivered. on time throughout the drug delivery journey.
Still, it’s just as important to be ready to respond instantly to today’s digitally savvy patients. They often prefer to proactively track their orders on their mobile devices, are eager to get their medications, and check the delivery status multiple times per order.
According to a UPS study, 96% of shoppers actively track their purchases while waiting for their arrival. It is especially common for specialty pharmacy patients awaiting the arrival of expensive medications to experience pre-package anxiety, which the Urban Dictionary defines as:
The nervous impatience experienced while waiting for the delivery of a package or package that you have ordered. Often accompanied by frequent glances at the front door for signs of the courier driver when hearing any audible or visual cues. [cues] of your presence. In general, the level of pre-package anxiety is highly correlated with the monetary, sentimental, or exaggerated value attached to the delivered package.
Specialty pharmacies do not control the delivery process when patients’ medications leave the shipping docks. Technically, it becomes the responsibility of carriers like USPS, FedEx, or UPS, each with their own online tracking and reporting methodologies and systems. But patients don’t ask carriers for critical drugs; they do business with specialty pharmacies.
For this reason, when patients fear their valuable item will be late, stolen at the door, or lost among the millions of packages delivered each day, many will contact their specialty pharmacies for delivery updates, not carriers. . Specialty pharmacies need to be prepared to answer, “when is my medicine scheduled to arrive?”
‘Where’s my package’ queries = Avoidable cost
Not being prepared to answer this fundamental question, which seems simple to the end user but is quite complicated on the backend, can be costly in 3 vital critical areas:
- Patient delivery inquiries that come through call centers cost specialty pharmacies money because they must have skilled employees who can interact with patients and access patient-specific drug delivery information.
- Delivery inquiries reaching pharmacists take them away from their core patient care duties, costing specialty pharmacies money as measured by lost productivity. If the pharmacist receives calls from patients asking about the expected delivery of the medication, he cannot serve other customers.
- Ninety-seven percent of customers expect to be able to monitor their orders at every step of the shipping process. When specialty pharmacies fail to meet that expectation, they can tarnish customer satisfaction.
When patients experience incorrect carrier tracking numbers, inaccurate delivery information, or difficult-to-navigate carrier package tracking websites, the volume of inbound call traffic increases and specialty pharmacy costs rise. Specialty pharmacies need processes, systems and tools to quickly determine the delivery status of a medication, reassure and relieve patient anxiety.
Make it easy for patients to access information from their mobile
Providing patients with a comprehensive online pharmacy solution with the most accurate and up-to-date delivery information for their medications is paramount. Once a digital solution is implemented, the patient can quickly view medication tracking information and respond “where’s my package?” it becomes automated.
This saves time and money because there are fewer incoming questions, reducing operating costs for the pharmacy and ensuring patient confidence in your pharmacy while enhancing the customer experience.
The good news is that there are solutions on the market to help specialty pharmacies manage patient concerns and curiosity. Here is a checklist to help identify the right provider to help you improve patient engagement:
- The provider leverages carrier (UPS, FedEx, and USPS) and courier-specific tracking information along with predictive analytics to display a comprehensive, intuitive, and actionable interface for patients.
- Notifications can be triggered by text message or email.
- Call centers can see the same information that patients see, including all communication and delivery activities.
- Provider offers a specialty pharmacy branding solution that features pharmacy logos, colors, fonts, brand messaging, and more.
- The solution easily integrates with your existing system with API or web-based user interface.
Once a medication has been shipped, it does not mean that the pharmacy automatically loses control of the patient experience. Provide up-to-date, on-demand delivery statuses with an intuitive pharmacy-branded website, send proactive notifications to the patient’s mobile device via text or email, and make it easy for patients to answer their questions to maintain continuity of care. the brand.
Doing so will reduce operating costs and protect your patient experience throughout the delivery process.
About the Author
Sebastian Pistritto is Vice President of Marketing for ParcelShield, a company that provides predictive analytics and support services that reduce risk for shippers and improve patient or end-user satisfaction. Focused on specialty pharmacies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, mail order pharmacies, and high-value non-pharmaceutical businesses, ParcelShield has artificial intelligence and predictive machine learning models that provide real-time, carrier-agnostic, delivery risk insights for avoid package problems before it happens.