GuildLink is committed to helping pharmacies take advantage of the opportunities presented by advances in digital health. Through our editorial series, GuildLink Navigator, we delve into issues affecting pharmacies, such as electronic prescriptions; to help guide you through the digital transformation journey ahead.
With the convergence of My Health Record and Electronic Prescriptions, having the correct mobile phone number and email address for your patients has never been more crucial to the success of your pharmacy business.
Historically, the key personal identifying information (PII) fields relied upon by pharmacies and the Australian medical industry have been:
- First Name
- Last Name
- Date of Birth (DOB)
- Medicare Number
Pharmacy’s view of key patient identifying information needs to expand beyond just these five fields. With the imminent introduction of electronic prescriptions, a patient’s mobile phone number and email address needs to be viewed an important as their Medicare Number – as without them, pharmacies will be limited in their ability to receive prescriptions provided as either an e-Token or within a patient’s Active Script List (ASL) and communicate to patients.
But with pharmacy patient databases consisting on average between 8,000 to 15,000 patient profiles, and large metro pharmacy patient databases reaching in excess of 100,000 profiles, ensuring each patient profile is accurate and up to date is no mean feat.
Updating a patient data base of even just 5,000 patient profiles takes time.
Pharmacies need to include patient data cross checks throughout their everyday business operations and procedures now if they want to be confident in their preparation for electronic prescriptions.
The quality of your patient database is key. Pharmacies need to include patient data checks throughout their everyday business operations now if they want to be confident in their preparation for electronic prescriptions.
As all pharmacies know, efficient workflow management underpins operational success.
Spreading the cross checking and updating of patient mobile phone numbers and email addresses from within a single database and source of truth across various points of the business can help distribute the time and workforce burden required for this data management exercise.
Top tips to incorporating the updating of patient profiles across your pharmacy business:
- Review your patient database to identify patient profiles missing mobile phone numbers or email addresses
“The simple task itself of reviewing your patient database to identify patient profiles missing mobile phone numbers and email addresses should not be underestimated,” said GuildLink CEO Arun Shamra, “Pharmacies don’t always manage patient profiles within the one database – they can be housed across multiple databases, excels and files.
- Discuss with your pharmacy team how having correct patient mobile phone numbers and email addresses is as important as having their correct Medicare numbers.
“Ensuring your patient database is complete will require a concerted cross-pharmacy team effort. Make sure your staff understand the importance of capturing and updating all patient mobile phone numbers and email addresses,” said Arun.
- Using GuildCare NG’s Bulk Messaging feature, message your patient base to inform them that you will be in contact re updating their patient profile.
- Identify opportunities to engage with patients re updating their contact details – such as during Checkout or while awaiting Dispense.
- Have ‘Sign-up’ forms flyers available or on an iPad at your Checkout counter for patients to fill in while they wait for their items are being processed.