Customized targeted messaging builds patient loyalty

July 15, 2013

Have you started offering medication therapy management (MTM) sessions for your chronic disease patients? Are you struggling with the recruitment or scheduling? Or do you need help with the follow-up to ensure that your patients are achieving better outcomes?

For independent pharmacists who want to build their pharmacy practices, Prescribe Wellness, a company serving healthcare professionals through marketing, technology, and healthcare expertise, is offering a software service platform designed to help pharmacists complete these tasks.

By creating more efficient and multichannel communication between pharmacists and patients, Prescribe Wellness’ software can also help pharmacists target patients who could benefit from services such as smoking cessation or a diabetes clinic.

“With the changes in the Affordable Care Act, the need for preventive care services has never been greater,” said Al Babbington, Prescribe Wellness’ CEO. “We believe that independent retail pharmacists are in the perfect position to fill in all of these wellness types of services, whether it be diabetic services, smoking cessation, MTM. But they may be struggling with getting the message out to the appropriate patients.”

Leveraging pharmacist's voice

Using an automated digital intervention and their own voice, pharmacists can deliver targeted messages to patients that will be heard. Prescribe Wellness works with pharmacies to identify appropriate patients for specific services, then creates scripts that address the goals for patients to make a behavioral change. Pharmacists are able to record the message using their own voices.

“The thing that differentiates our service from the old IVR systems is what we are leveraging-the voice of authority,” Babbington said.

For example, a typical past-due refill reminder saying that your script is overdue probably doesn’t have the same impact as a message from the community pharmacist whose voice is recognizable and can deliver a sense of emotion and concern. “So when we automate a communication about a past-due refill, the pharmacist can say that ‘missing a single dose can be critical to your health,’ and that drives home the message,” Babbington said.

A million more

Every quarter, Prescribe Wellness focuses on a new preventive healthcare challenge to engage patients and encourage them to follow through with a visit to their local pharmacy. For example, Prescribe Wellness has worked to encourage patients of all ages to get their annual influenza vaccination. By segmenting the population of the pharmacies’ database, pharmacists were able to send communications using social media to encourage patients to visit their local pharmacy for immunizations. They also have targeted patients to drive them to the website, amillionmore.com, powered by Prescribe Wellness. This educational website also includes a search feature to locate an independent pharmacy nearby.

Last quarter, during the flu shot campaign, Prescribe Wellness tailored messages for younger adults to try to raise awareness about the importance of flu vaccinations. “The underlying message is that you may not be the one who gets sick and hospitalized, but do this for your family and for your community,” Babbington said.

Prescribe Wellness has partnered with a number of pharmacy associations to encourage immunizations for flu prevention. They include the Arizona Pharmacy Association, California Pharmacists Association, North Carolina Association of Pharmacists, Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association, Georgia Pharmacy Association, Iowa Pharmacy Association and Oklahoma Pharmacists Association. These associations identified and enrolled hundreds of pharmacies last year, with a goal of including 1,000 pharmacies before the peak of the flu season.

Pharmacists who have worked with Prescribe Wellness have described the customized, targeted messaging as successful based on anecdotal evidence and year-over-year performance, Babbington said.

“Although many independent pharmacists have their own websites and use them for promotion, our package includes a single platform that can deliver voice, text, and social media pushes on behalf of independent pharmacists,” he said. “We also provide services where they have a whole kit to reach out to local media, sample letters that they can do for various faith-based organizations, schools, and civic groups.”