IVR Rewards in a Changing Pharmacy Practice
- Tom Modeen
Pharmacy IVR Systems offer significant rewards to the pharmacy and patients, alike. Those benefits are growing in importance as IVR can save significant staff time and help you serve your patients in new and meaningful ways.
Yet, there are many pharmacy managers who believe IVR is a poor choice. The fear is that the pharmacy will lose the “personal touch. “That’s why my patients come here!
For the vast majority of your patients, IVR represents a higher service level. It allows them to easily request prescriptions 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
If you look around your immediate area, you will find chain and independent pharmacies who have incorporated IVR with very positive results. When you install IVR, you will quickly realize that at least 25% of refills being handled by the IVR system. That represents a significant savings of staff time.
IVR has Benefits Beyond Handling Refill Phone Requests
Modern IVR systems feature the benefits of notifying patients when their prescriptions are ready to be picked up (outbound calls, texts (SMS) and email. IVR systems can also contact patients when prescriptions are due for a refill. Every call is answered quickly without pharmacy distractions. Patients can indicate whether prescription orders will be picked up or delivered. Patients may also leave important messages for the pharmacy.
Compliance, Star Ratings, Added Responsibilities and Your Financial Future
As you should be aware, the healthcare system is trending and moving away from the fee-for-service model to the Value Based Purchasing Model. Pharmacies are faced with the challenge of measurably improving the health of their patients. This requires time for intervention to ensure a more medication-compliant patient population, higher volumes of managing MTM cases and ultimately implementing medication synchronization programs. The filling process will no longer be a passive endeavor, but will be centered around many more responsibilities that promote patient wellness.
CMS initiated Value Based Purchasing for all of their Medicare Advantage Plans. Failure of community pharmacies to actively engage and promote positive health outcomes (measured by their respective “Star Ratings”) will result in lost contracts, omission from participation in Preferred Networks and significant revenue loss.
Considering the growing pharmacy responsibilities, it is evident that IVR technology can provide the necessary efficiency to manage the changing pharmacy practice.