The federal government has begun shipping COVID-19 vaccines directly to pharmacies nationwide. As the demand increases, pharmacies have been inundated with inquiries about vaccination appointments, disrupting day-to-day operations and increasing staff workloads.
Streamlined digital tools are key to a successful and effective COVID-19 vaccination program. At a time when people are still concerned about social distancing, pharmacies need tools to help them manage incoming inquiries while keeping themselves and their patients safe.
Using Digital Pharmacist Tools to Manage Vaccine Inquiries
We want to give your pharmacy the ability to field COVID-19 vaccination calls, messages, and in-person requests effectively so your team can focus on their work. Digital Pharmacist offers three available and upcoming digital tools that can keep your pharmacy on track and help you prepare to launch your COVID-19 vaccination program.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
If you’re dealing with a lot of inbound calls, an interactive voice response (IVR) system is an effective way to manage call volume and automate manual tasks. Make it easy for your staff to filter COVID-19-related inquiries so they can take care of other prescription and non-prescription business without getting overwhelmed.
By setting up an IVR, you will be able to:
- Spend less time on the phone. Focus on one-on-one interactions, rather than answering questions about basic business information. IVR makes it easy to direct patient inquiries and forward calls so you can reduce interruptions to your day.
- Automate manual tasks. IVR allows you to pre-record important information, limiting staff pickups. Set up an automated message letting patients know if you’re currently offering the vaccine and how to schedule an appointment.
- Provide quality patient care. Care for your other patients while dealing with an influx of vaccine inquiries through IVR self-service. If they have specific questions or concerns, your patients can still choose to talk to a staff member or pharmacist at any time.
Branded Healthsite and Waitlist
Another way to reduce the number of requests your staff has to deal with manually is by having a website to direct patients to. Digital Pharmacist’s branded healthsites are created specifically with pharmacies in mind and now include COVID-19 vaccination waitlists.
Our waitlists include:
- COVID Vaccination Opt-In Form. This website form creates a database of patients interested in scheduling a vaccination appointment, so you know when to contact them. Directing patients to your website form will help your staff streamline the process and manage their workload. Many of our customers have started including directions to the waitlist in IVR greetings to reduce patient queries.
- Automatic Patient Qualification. When a patient signs up, they’re automatically qualified and sorted into the appropriate vaccination phase based on CDC guidelines. This allows your staff to quickly and efficiently create communication and scheduling processes for each phase without having to wade through data.
- Downloadable Waitlists For Simplified Outreach. View the number of patients in each phase group and download each waitlist as a CSV for immediate use. Whether it’s in our secure bulk-messaging platform or your own process, you’ll always have the information on hand.
Vaccination Scheduler (Coming April 2021)
By April 2021, our Patient Engagement Platform will offer a Vaccination Scheduler to help with appointment scheduling and outreach. Your team will be able to manage vaccination waitlists, appointments, reminders, and contactless check-in all in one place. These new features simplify patient communication so you can begin administering the vaccine as soon as your pharmacy receives its first dose.
Vaccination Scheduler features include:
- HIPAA Compliance. The Patient Engagement Platform is data-encrypted so you can be confident that your patient’s information is safe and prevent unintentional violations by securing protected health information (PHI).
- Customizable Calendar. Configure your clinical appointment calendars based on your pharmacy’s availability. You’ll be able to customize date ranges, appointment lengths, and maximum number of appointments. You’ll also be able to track upcoming appointments, cancellations, and missed appointments.
- Bulk & Targeted Messaging. Send patients a secure message through our platform when you’re ready to start scheduling appointments. You can select who will receive an SMS based on your Waitlist or upload a list manually. Messages will be sent out until all eligible contacts receive an SMS or your appointment slots are booked.
- Automated Appointment Reminders. To help you streamline the vaccination process, our workflow will send patients an automated message reminding them of their appointment. Use our pre-populated templates or customize your own to tailor messages like appointment confirmations, reminders, check-ins, and vaccine availability.
- Contactless Check-In. On the day of their appointment, patients will be able to check-in directly from their phones to help you and your staff stay on track. You’ll also be able to see what time each patient checks in for their appointment.
To learn more and receive updates about the launch of our Vaccination Scheduler, contact us by filling out our notification form.