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130,000 Messages Later: How AHF Connects With Patients

In order to provide patients with top-notch specialty care and services, several AHF Pharmacy locations leverage Digital Pharmacist’s secure 2-way messaging tool. The tool enables them to combine a personalized touch with great service by sending patients friendly messages with words and emojis directly to their phone.

Since adopting secure 2-way messaging, AHF has:


pharmacies using secure 2-way messaging


Messages sent


Increase in patient view rate after using emojis


 About AHF Pharmacy

AHF Pharmacy is a non-profit pharmacy chain owned and operated by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF). The pharmacies are full-service facilities staffed with pharmacists who specialize in HIV/AIDS treatment as well as general pharmacy services. Their goal is to be a convenient resource for their patients and provide them with access to personalized services that are customized to their pharmaceutical needs.


The Challenge

Giving Patients More Access to Pharmacists 

In order to give their patients the customized care they promise, AHF Pharmacy was looking for a solution that would allow their pharmacists to be available to patients through all channels — not just through phone calls. 

“One of our goals is to be a convenient resource to our patients,” explains Aaron Pellicciotti, the pharmacy manager at the AHF Pharmacy – Downtown LA location. “And what better way to do this than by giving patients access to contact pharmacists through texts like they would a friend.”

A Need for a Collaborative Partnership

With over 50 locations across the United States, AHF was searching for a partner with a collaborative and personalized approach. 

They needed someone who would work with them to ensure that the solution they chose would fit into their pharmacists’ workflow and that it was user friendly for both our pharmacists and patients.

Consistent Pharmacy Brand

While the AHF team loved the messaging tool, it was lacking personalization. While plain-text messages are great to keep patients up-to-date on their refills or to answer questions, they are fundamentally toneless. 

The pharmacy staff was also looking to be able to customize their messages to give them some personality and have the pharmacy’s brand show in all aspects of their communication. 


The Solution

A Pharmacist is Just a Text Away

With Digital Pharmacist’s secure 2-way messaging tool, AHF Pharmacy staff can message back and forth with patients to answer any questions or concerns, without patients having to wait on hold. Pharmacists can also send messages for several reasons including pickup reminders, delivery notifications, insurance questions, answer clinical questions, and more.

According to Pellicciotti, “the tool was helpful because it meant that our pharmacists could spend less time making phone calls, but it also meant that patients could just text their questions and get an answer quickly. It was really great.”

Joining Our Pharmacy Testing Group

In total, the AHF locations have sent a combined 130,016 messages since adding the tool to their workflow. But their journey with our messaging tool didn’t start there.

AHF’s need for a solution happened to coincide with Digital Pharmacist starting to test the new messaging tool. As a result, their pharmacies were able to join the testing group and were one of the first to use it.

Since AHF Pharmacy was in our testing group, they were crucial to helping us test and develop the tool before adding it to our suite of products. 

Using Emojis to Add a Personalized Touch to Patient Messages

In early 2020, Digital Pharmacist added emoji capabilities to 2-way messaging. With it, pharmacists can send or respond to patients with messages that include emojis.

Whether it’s a simple thumbs-up or a heart, emojis are a language of their own. Emojis convey tone, highlight key points in your messages, or let a patient know you’ve read their message. They’re a friendly way to communicate and pharmacy staff can build relationships with patients while portraying a positive and engaged brand.


The Results With Digital Pharmacist

By combining Digital Pharmacist’s secure 2-way messaging tool with emojis, AHF Pharmacy provides its patients with the highest quality of care while also making sure their helpful, friendly brand voice shines through each message. After the emoji feature was added to our messaging tool, they saw an 11% increase in patients reading their messages.

AHF Pharmacy is incorporating emojis in all of the secure 2-way messaging tools’ functions – including in pre-made templates or when replying to patients.

AHF Pharmacy – Downtown uses emojis to highlight the most important points in their delivery template.

AHF - Downtown LA Delivery Template

Other AHF Pharmacies also use emojis to show their patients their support or add a friendly touch.

Example of pharmacy using a heart emoji in a message.

Our messaging solution combines a personal touch with a secure platform that protects health information and connects seamlessly with the other products in our digital suite.

To learn more about our secure messaging solution, contact us about a demo today.

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