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How to Get Your Patients to Use Your Pharmacy App

Digital Pharmacist’s mobile app, PocketRx, is the brainchild of our own Robert Terrell. He first launched the app in 2009 in partnership with Steve Boyd at Causey’s Pharmacy. Causey’s Pharmacy is located in Natchitoches, Louisiana, a small college town. Steve wanted an app that his patients could use to easily pull up medication lists on their phones to show doctors. At the time, only CVS and Walgreens had invested in pharmacy apps but Steve and Robert both saw the numerous benefits that an app could provide to the pharmacy’s patients.  In 2017, Digital Pharmacist added PocketRx to our suite of digital products, and Robert joined the team to help us ensure our pharmacy app met the needs of both our pharmacies and their patients.

As of September 2020, PocketRx has:


downloads by patients


Refills submitted


Pharmacies using the app


One-and-done approach

If you have a smartphone, you’re familiar with phone notifications prompting you to update your phone or app software all the time. These updates are essential to create the best app experience. The same is true for pharmacy and other business apps.

Unfortunately, other pharmacy app vendors often follow a one-and-done approach, meaning they create an app and then don’t keep it updated and working well for the users. 

This means that while the phone manufacturer is constantly producing updates, your app is staying the same. Sooner or later, the app won’t run correctly on your patient’s devices, or worse, your patients might not even be able to download it. Essentially, you’re paying money for a product that your patients can’t even use.

Poor user experience

According to a survey conducted by AppsFlyer, the worldwide uninstall rate for health & fitness apps after 30 days is 28%. This means that getting a consumer to download your pharmacy app is only half the battle. The rest of the battle is adding value to prevent your patient from uninstalling your app. 

One of the main issues patients face is trying to use an overly complicated app. If users can’t figure out how to sign in or do simple tasks like process a refill, odds are they will uninstall it on the spot. 

As such, the next 30 days play a crucial role in determining whether or not your patients will continue to use your app. To prevent uninstalls, it’s also important that your app stays top-of-mind so patients are constantly engaging with it. If your app can only be used for refills, patients won’t find it useful and will be more likely to just call in or request the refill in-person. 



Keeping the app up-to-date

In order to offer the best user experience and increase engagement, we make sure to constantly update the PocketRx app. “Usually we update our app every 2-3 weeks to keep up with all the latest software changes from Apple, Android, and Google,” explains Terrell. 

App releases can vary from minor things like changing the logos that appear in the app stores to fixing issues or bugs that were causing disruptions for the users. Our most recent update enabled Face ID so that Apple phone users could use Face ID to unlock the app instead of entering their password.

Since we aim to update our app every 2-3 weeks, we make sure we’re working very closely with our pharmacies and their patients to get their feedback to make sure everything is running smoothly. As a result, our PocketRx app has 4.7 stars and 11,000 reviews on the App Store, while most of our competitors have less than 3 stars and few to no reviews. Similarly, our Android app has 4.8 stars and is rated higher than all the competitors including big-box stores like Walgreens and CVS.

More than just refills

Our pharmacy mobile app, PocketRx, aims to not only help pharmacies provide an app that is easy to use for refills and prescription status updates, but it also offers additional features to ensure patients continue to use the app.

Some of the main features include: setting notifications to remind your patients when to take medications, adding helpful health news articles, medication lists for you or anyone else linked to your account, and patient-friendly Rx information.

Most recently, we have also added secure 2-way messaging capabilities to our app. With secure 2-way messaging, pharmacists and patients can engage in conversations directly through the app and can quickly answer questions about anything ranging from curbside pickup instructions to medication interaction questions. 



Since PocketRx became a part of the Digital Pharmacist suite of products in 2017, we’ve seen an increase of 355% in digital prescription refills. 

Our app usage has also been immensely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Between February and March of 2020, we experienced a 24% increase in app downloads and a 12% increase in refills through the app.

As circumstances surrounding COVID-19 remain uncertain and consumers adopt digital tools to cope, a mobile app is going to be a standard component of any business in the future. But simply having an app isn’t enough, it must be functional and easy for your patients to use.

By combining a mobile app that has refill capabilities and stores past prescriptions with a system that is constantly updated, we provide both pharmacists and their patients with incredible tools to make their day-to-day life simple. With 200,000+ downloads and 2,000,000+ refills through our mobile app in 2020 so far, we think we’re on the right track. 


To learn more about our mobile app, contact us about a demo today.

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