How Pharmacies Are Simplifying The Customer Experience

How Pharmacies Are Simplifying The Customer Experience
Health

Pharmacy brands are rethinking how design and tech can be used to improve medication adherence and the overall patient experience

PSFK
  • 9 march 2018

Filling a prescription should be easy, but often it is a tedious process that can involve paperwork, phone calls and long waits. For patients with numerous medications that need to be taken at different intervals, or in varying doses, it can be hard to keep track of a routine.

Responding to PSFK’s 2017 Future Of Health survey, 43% of healthcare experts agreed that it is very important to replace pharmaceutical-based treatments with technology-based solutions and methods that help patients manage acute and chronic conditions, or speed up their recovery. But how exactly is that playing out with both major pharmacy brands and startups?

PSFK researchers recently dug deep into the pharmacy industry to look at the latest innovations in the consumer pharmacy experience. Two trends stood out: Optimized Fulfillment, where companies are using a host of automated and mobile solutions to create greater efficiencies in the prescription process, and Simplified Design, which sees health clinics and pharmacies streamlining processes and removing unnecessary complexities to make it easier for patients to acquire and track their medications. Below we look at three examples:

CVS
CVS teamed up with industrial designer Deborah Adler to redesign the prescription label, as part of the drug store chain’s initiative to rethink the pharmacy experience. Adler’s prototype is a module labeling system that will go on every pill bottle, so that when lined up together, the bottles produce a chart of an overall pill regimen. For now, the new system includes a single sheet that patients get showing exactly how all their medicines should be taken. The redesigned pill labels will hit the market in 2018.

Walmart
Walmart is upgrading its mobile app to allow customers using its pharmacies and money services to skip paperwork and save time waiting in line by using “express lanes.” Customers will be able to refill prescriptions from their smartphones and use the designated lanes to pick up their orders, scan the prescription codes through the app and pay for them electronically.

PillPack
PillPack is a full-service online pharmacy that helps patients adhere to a prescribed drug regimen by simplifying their medicine cabinets and delivering drugs directly to their doors. PillPack pharmacists use the company’s operating system, called Pharmacy OS, to track users’ medications and automatically request refills, while also reaching out to insurance companies on behalf of patients. Once a pharmacist sorts all the medications according to a doctor’s instructions, it loads them into an automated machine that deposits them into clear packs and prints the labels. Then, each packet is inspected by a computer vision program that’s been trained to recognize pills by size, color and shape. The AI checks to make sure that the pharmacist hasn’t made any errors in divvying up the pills—and if it flags anything, another pharmacist checks those packs by hand.

PillPack’s medication dispensers. Photo: PillPack

Utilizing AI, convenient mobile apps and smart design choices, pharmacies are able to respond more nimbly respond to customer needs, while patients get their medications with less hassle and have less trouble adhering to medication schedules. For even more insights and examples, check out our recent report Reinventing The Pharmacy Experience.


Lead Image: CVS

Filling a prescription should be easy, but often it is a tedious process that can involve paperwork, phone calls and long waits. For patients with numerous medications that need to be taken at different intervals, or in varying doses, it can be hard to keep track of a routine.

+artificial intelligence
+chat a researcher
+Design
+financial services
+Health
+Innovation
+mobile
+pharmacy
+retail
+technology
+Wal-Mart
+Walmart
+wellness

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