Understanding Pharmacy IVR Systems

These days it seems every business has some sort of automated answering service when you place a phone call. Some systems are more complicated than others, but the overall goals are that of simple, expedited service to the consumer while maximizing employee productivity. For example, why should a staff member spend valuable time repeatedly giving out store hours and an address when an automated system can do it for them? The caller gets their information quickly while the employee can spend their time elsewhere. This is the exact philosophy behind pharmacies around the US who utilize an Interactive Voice Response system.

Understanding Pharmacy IVR Systems

Defining IVR Systems

Generally speaking, ivr systems for pharmacies were created to allow patients to place a phone call in order to automatically refill a prescription without having to speak to a pharmacist. This allows the pharmacist to more quickly fill prescriptions, work with doctors and insurance agencies to ensure proper prescriptions are being filled, and work with customers once they arrive at the pharmacy for consultations and other issues. When the call is placed by the patient, the system automatically ensures they are requesting the right medication and have enough refills to fulfill the request. The information is sent to the refill management system which allows the pharmacist to begin working on the request. The best systems also include options to leave a voicemail or speak directly to a pharmacist. Some may fear that working with an automated system distances them from the valuable information provided by a pharmacist, but in truth the system allows more time for pharmacists to have meaningful conversations since they are not bogged down by simply taking refill requests.

Additional Benefits

While these systems have been in place for some time, new features are regularly added to continue to make them more efficient. Some include a text feature which automatically sends a text message to a patient to alert them that their prescription has been filled, or to remind them to pick it up if some time has gone by since placing the order. Additionally, some pharmacies utilize the system for marketing purposes. The outbound message can be personalized to highlight certain offerings, including flu and other immunization shots that may be available, as well as upcoming changes to certain policies, and even pharmacy hour changes due to holidays or impending dangerous storms.

An automated system that provides the caller with the ability to refill a prescription quickly and easily is an excellent addition to any pharmacy’s business. An easy system allows for faster service while providing more bandwidth to pharmacy staff.

Understanding Pharmacy IVR Systems
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