Improve patient engagement with data, insights and digital tools while reducing pharmacy costs and improving outcomes


Specialty pharmacies need processes, systems, and tools to quickly determine drug delivery status, reassure confidence, and alleviate patient anxiety.

In previous articles, we have looked at various ways that specialty pharmacies can be proactive in educating patients and informing them of the delivery status of their medications or packaging:

  1. The correlation between a pharmacy’s ability to leverage multiple personalized communication channels, such as email and mobile text messaging, and greater patient engagement.
  2. How leveraging package tracking technology with data, insights and predictive analytics – before an order ships – can improve operational processes and pharmacy planning up front to minimize lost packages or delayed and improve patient satisfaction.
  3. When real-time obstacles arise, such as weather, extreme temperatures, or environmental changes, specialty pharmacies must be able to monitor all critical patient medications, proactively communicate with patients, and rescue patients. critical and distressed or undeliverable packages. on time throughout the drug delivery journey.

Yet it’s equally important to be ready to respond instantly to today’s savvy patients. They often prefer to proactively track their orders on their mobile devices, are anxious about getting 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 them to arrive. It’s especially common for patients in specialty pharmacies waiting for expensive drugs to arrive to experience pre-package anxiety, which the Urban Dictionary defines as:

Nervous impatience experienced while waiting for the delivery of a parcel or package you ordered. Often accompanied by frequent glances at the front door for signs of the courier driver when you hear an audible or visual signal [cues] of their presence. Generally, the level of pre-package anxiety is highly correlated to the monetary, sentimental, or hype-based value given to the delivered package.

Specialty pharmacies do not control the delivery process when patient medicines leave the shipping docks. Technically, this becomes the responsibility of carriers such as USPS, FedEx, or UPS, each with their methodologies and online tracking and reporting systems. But patients do not order essential drugs from transporters; they do business with specialized pharmacies.

For this reason, when patients fear their valuable item will arrive late, be stolen from the door or get lost among the millions of packages delivered each day, many will turn to their specialty pharmacies for upgrades. up-to-date on delivery, not to the carriers. Specialty pharmacies must be ready to answer: “When are my medicines due to arrive?

“Where’s my package” requests = 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 prove costly in 3 vital critical areas:

  1. Patient delivery requests that reach call centers cost specialty pharmacies money, as they must staff them with trained employees who can engage with patients and access patient-specific drug delivery information.
  2. Delivery requests reaching pharmacists take them away from their primary patient care duties, costing specialty pharmacies money if measured in lost productivity. If the pharmacist receives calls from patients asking for the scheduled delivery of the medication, he cannot serve other customers.
  3. Ninety-seven percent of customers expect to be able to monitor their orders at every stage of the shipping process. When specialty pharmacies cannot meet this expectation, it can tarnish customer satisfaction.

When patients encounter incorrect carrier tracking numbers, inaccurate shipping information, or difficult-to-navigate carrier package tracking websites, the volume of inbound call traffic increases and specialty pharmacy costs escalate. Specialty pharmacies need processes, systems and tools to quickly determine the delivery status of a drug, reassure confidence and alleviate patient anxiety.

Make it easier for patients to access information from their mobile

Providing patients with a complete online pharmacy solution with the most accurate and up-to-date delivery information about their medications is paramount. Once a digital solution is in place, and the patient can quickly view medication tracking information, answer “where is my package?” becomes automated.

This saves time and money as there are fewer incoming questions, which reduces operational costs for the pharmacy and reassures patients’ confidence in their pharmacy while enhancing the customer experience.

The good news is that there are solutions on the market to help specialty pharmacies manage delivery issues and patient curiosity. Here is a checklist to help you identify the right provider to help you improve patient engagement:

  • The provider leverages carrier-specific (UPS, FedEx, and USPS) and courier-specific tracking information, as well as predictive analytics to display a comprehensive, intuitive, and actionable interface for patients.
  • Notifications can be triggered by SMS or email.
  • Customer call centers can view the same information that patients see, including all communication and delivery activity.
  • The supplier offers a specialized pharmacy branding solution including pharmacy logos, colors, fonts, brand messages, etc.
  • The solution easily integrates into your existing system with an API or web UI.

Once a drug 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 easier for patients to answer their questions in order to maintain the continuity of the brand.

This will reduce operational costs and protect your patient’s experience throughout the delivery journey.

About the Author

Sebastian Pistritto is Vice President of Marketing for ParcelShield, a company that provides predictive analytics and support services that reduce risk to 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 predictive artificial intelligence and machine learning models that provide real-time insights, independent of the operator, on the risks of deliverability to prevent the distress of packages before it happens.


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