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5 Ways a Pharmacy Answering Service Can Help Your Pharmacy Operations

Being a pharmacist can be a lucrative and fulfilling career.  While being a pharmacist can be rewarding in more ways than one, it is also one of the most demanding. It requires speed, accuracy, and care. You have to deal with calls from patients experiencing distress or discomfort, hoping for an immediate solution to their problems. Whether it is something that needs immediate attention or general consultation, your facility must address the patient’s concerns on time and appropriately. Your staff may not have enough time to respond to every call. A pharmacy answering service can help you solve all this by taking calls during busy hours. They will also help you with appointment scheduling and confirmations.

If you are considering streamlining your pharmacy operations, you have come to the right place. This article will discuss 4 ways a pharmacy answering service can help your pharmacy operate more smoothly and efficiently. Keep reading to learn more.

Key Duties of a Pharmacy

Most of us think of nurses and doctors as being on the front line of healthcare, but pharmacists are just as crucial for helping patients treat various health concerns. 

Prescription Filling, Over-the-Counter Medications, and Supplies

A pharmacy provides prescription filling services, including ensuring that prescriptions are filled accurately and dispensed in accordance with the prescription instructions. This ensures patients are given the right drugs for their health issues without adverse consequences.

One of the key duties of a pharmacy is to handle, prepare, store, and dispense over-the-counter medications and supplies. These medications and supplies may include minerals, vitamins, and other supplements. They usually review prescriptions before dispensing medicine to a patient. Pharmacists also can consult with the prescribing doctor to determine the best medications available, which can help patients avoid drug interactions, allergies, and unwanted side effects.

Immunizations

While treating diseases is a key part of healthcare, preventing infection is even more critical. Pharmacies provide immunization services, such as administering vaccines, offering travel vaccines, and administering influenza shots. However, several states restrict the vaccines pharmacists can administer and age limitations on who they can vaccinate.

Medical Testing

Pharmacies sometimes work as medical testing centers to offer a variety of tests, such as urine and blood tests. They can also do other tests to diagnose and monitor different health conditions. The tests can be checked with the patient’s doctor to develop a new medication plan.

Patient Education

Pharmacies and medical testing centers provide patient education services, such as providing information about medications, diet and nutrition, lifestyle changes, and other health-related topics. They can offer a range of support to help patients manage their health. For instance, a pharmacist can help you work out if you are at risk of developing a health condition, such as diabetes or heart disease.

image of a busy pharmacist in a pharmacy symbolizing the importance of a pharmacy answering service

5 Benefits of Using a Pharmacy Answering Service

Using a pharmacy answering service can help support and streamline all of the duties listed above. Here are some of the ways an answering service can help pharmacists do their jobs even better.

1) Improved Customer Service

Patients are the central force in the medical industry. Your pharmacy operations would not be of much use without any patients. Therefore, you need to maintain good customer service to keep patients coming to your pharmacy instead of a competitor.

Your customers need to feel heard and valued. The best way to achieve this is if they think they have direct and immediate access to you. Patients who are not attended to quickly may simply hang up and seek help elsewhere.

A pharmacy answering service will ensure that patients who may have questions after leaving your facility are responded to promptly and appropriately. For instance, if a customer needs to refill a prescription or has a question about a medication, they can call the pharmacy and speak to a live agent. This will help prevent customer frustrations by providing a reliable and efficient customer service experience. 

Your customers will be more satisfied with your services if they know they can get some assistance without an appointment. Or, if they need to make an appointment, they’ll be able to easily and quickly with the use of a pharmacy answering service. You can be confident your calendar will be filled with happy, satisfied customers. 

2) Patient Follow Ups and Appointment Reminders

Having your customers miss appointments can be annoying and frustrating. It can waste a lot of your time and lead to inefficiency at your facility. Therefore, your patients need to show up if you want to strengthen the relationship and provide quality care.

A pharmacy answering service will help you eliminate no-shows by sending appointment reminders. With accurate and precise notes collected by the pharmacy answering professional, you will be able to easily contact your customers for follow-ups. The skilled pharmacy answering team will record every patient’s information correctly.

Also, many patients tend to forget the time to take their medication. With a pharmacy answering service, your customers will receive important medical reminders that must be passed on. It could be a text message, phone call, or email, depending on what is most fitting and convenient for them. 

3) 24/7 Availability

Medical emergencies have no set time. They may occur even in the wee hours of the night when least expected. Unfortunately, most pharmacies are not open 24 hours a day. This means there are hours that your phones are not manned and could be missing calls. Many patients may become frustrated and dissatisfied if put on hold for a long time, or if they’re sent directly to voicemail. 

Having a pharmacy answering service available 24/7 will put customers at ease. They will be sure to speak to a professional in case of an emergency, and the pharmacy answering service will know whether or not to forward the call to you or advise them to seek emergency assistance. 

As a pharmacist, responding to your customers on time is one of the essential attributes you need to have, as it makes them feel valued. A pharmacy answering service will answer all calls, take precise notes, and operate quickly to get information to you. The pharmacy answering professionals will also ensure that all patients who call for help are satisfied. This will yield positive feedback for your pharmacy operations.

4) Cost Savings

Like any business, pharmacies have a budget and may have a lot of pressure to contain or minimize expenses while increasing efficiency. An effective pharmacy answering service will work well within your financial capacity. They will help you develop a solution that will work well without threatening the quality of your services.

Employing and training new staff to answer customer calls may cost you more time, money, and resources. Reliable pharmacy answering services with qualified medical professionals have organized processes and systems to ensure patients are served on time and effectively. 

A pharmacy answering service can also improve efficiency and productivity for pharmacies by freeing up staff time. This means your staff will have time to focus on other important issues, such as patient care and administrative tasks.

Also, you can use a pharmacy answering service to directly reach your customers and develop relationships with them instead of relying on expensive advertising campaigns. With an efficient pharmacy answering service, you will maintain your customers and generate more revenue.

5) HIPAA Compliant Pharmacy Answering Service

All patient medical information must be protected and regulated in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). As a pharmacist who deals with Protected Health Information, having a HIPAA-compliant pharmacy answering service is crucial.  You can rest easy knowing your answering service is qualified  to protect your customers’ confidential information and data.

Is a Live Answering Service Right for Your Pharmacy?

As you’ve read in this article, a professional pharmacy answering service can help the efficiency and quality of your pharmacy operations in several different ways. It will ensure that your customers are offered customer care and support 24/7. This will help to improve customer service. Pharmacy answering services will also help you save on costs and schedule appointments.

If you want to improve your pharmacy operations, consider investing in a pharmacy answering service. Contact our team with any questions you may have, or click the following link to learn more about all the options when it comes to medical answering services for pharmacies.

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