Lyle M. Green, Vice President of Sales & Marketing of MarkeTouch Media, talks about how chain pharmacies can use its patient communications service line to positively affect compliance.
CDD: Why are effective communications important for pharmacies?
LMG: The biggest issue in pharmacy today is adherence, where 30-50% of all patients across all disease and illness categories are non-compliant. Medication non-adherence costs the American healthcare industry $300 billion a year, of which $30 billion comes directly from the pharmacy industry. The average return-to-stock rate across the nation is 6.8%, which cost retail pharmacies efficiency and revenue. Furthermore, the healthcare implications are staggering, 125,000 patients die each year and 10% of all hospital admissions are a direct result of non-compliance. Effective timely communications play a pivotal role in solving these problems, for example, our outbound notifications reduce RTS by 40% for our clients.
CDD: How do you draw the correlation between communication and compliance?
LMG: The leading cause of noncompliance is forgetfulness. Our RxTouch Outbound Notifications manages day-to-day pharmacy communication including informing patients when their prescriptions are ready, reminding them to pick up their medication, and notifying them that a refill is due. Further, our (patent pending) Patient Preference Interface allows patients to be communicated with in the manner they choose (voice, text, mobile, e-mail) so they are more likely to receive and respond to the communication. Pharmacies leverage RxTouch Mobile Apps to push notifications, deliver a convenient way to refill prescriptions, and provide pill reminders to increase the likelihood that patients will remain adherent.
In addition, the role of the pharmacy has evolved to provide a wider range of healthcare including health and wellness programs, clinics, screenings, and medication therapy management to name a few. The RxTouch Pharmacy Scheduler was specifically designed for chain pharmacies to allow patients to schedule pharmacy appointments online, via the phone, and in-store. By providing a convenient method to communicate availability, the Scheduler has proven to increase the number of appointments made and reduce no-shows. Patient adherence and retention is dependent on a pharmacy’s ability to effectively use communication tools that keep their customers informed about all aspects of their business. Communication translates to increased medication compliance, customer satisfaction and revenue.
CDD: What new technologies have you been working on to increase compliance?
LMG: This year we are proud to announce the launch of RxTouch Pharmacist Connect, an industry-first dialing software that allows pharmacy staff to efficiently make live calls to patients. The dialer is customizable, hosted, tracks usage with online analytics, personalizes call scripting by patient, dynamically generates call lists, and has centralized administration. The service is used for a variety initiatives to increase compliance.
CDD: What would you advise pharmacy chains considering their patient-communications strategy?
LMG: Communications between pharmacists and patients is paramount to solving compliance problems. To make significant impact and increase medication adherence, decision makers need to consider comprehensive strategies that approach the issue in a holistic manner. The use of strategic communication, in the form of timely and appropriate messages, will drive consumer behavior. We at MarkeTouch Media have developed a multi-faceted service line that can help chains achieve their communication goals.