So you’ve chosen the right pharmacy software - now what comes next?
Your software is the core of your pharmacy, but there are a variety of additional integrations that can supplement your workflow and help enhance your system. Along with choosing a software, selecting the right integrations that fit your pharmacy’s needs is another crucial part of growing your pharmacy business. Our Software Integration blog series will explore a few of the most common system integrations for independent pharmacies. This week’s Software Integration Feature is about Pharmacy IVR.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is an automated telephone system that can help handle incoming calls to your pharmacy. Think of IVR as your pharmacy’s own personal receptionist - it will interact with your patients and guide them to the information they need instead of always requiring an employee to stop what they are doing and pick up the phone. With an IVR system, you’ll be able to automate answers to common inquiries such as general store information or prescription status and refill requests. You can customize your recorded messages and assign functions to numbers on a keypad, instructing patients to select a button that matches the reason for their call.
By choosing an IVR system that will integrate with your pharmacy software system, you will make you and your staff’s lives easier and provide convenience to patients so they can immediately get their questions answered with ease. An IVR system is a necessity for your growing pharmacy business. As an independent pharmacy, you will want to automate your mundane tasks so that you can focus your time on interacting with patients and expanding your pharmacy’s enhanced services. By using IVR to filter through incoming calls, you’ll be organized, save time, and be able to tailor your interactions with patients based on their needs. Read the list below to discover some of the valuable benefits of installing an IVR system along with your pharmacy software.
Benefits of Pharmacy IVR:
- Automatically Route Calls. Every person that calls your pharmacy will be greeted with your customized message and asked to give the reason for their call. The IVR will then either provide them with the requested information or direct them to someone who can answer their questions. Filtering your incoming calls saves time and reduces interruptions, as mentioned below.
- Save Time. You and your staff won’t be answering every single call that comes into the pharmacy - you’ll save time by having IVR as the middleman. You will be able to use this extra time to focus on other tasks that require critical thinking and human attention.
- Reduce Interruptions. Being constantly interrupted by phone calls can distract employees from the task at hand and cause errors. With IVR, your staff won’t have to start and stop their tasks constantly throughout the day. They will be able to focus on their tasks and be more productive, knowing that incoming calls will already be filtered through the IVR.
- Automate General Inquiries. Your IVR system can provide patients with general store information (such as store hours and location), as well as allow them to request a refill on their medications or check on the status of their prescriptions. All of this can be done automatically through the system without the attention of a staff member.
- Provide 24-Hour Service. The beauty of an automated phone system is that you can accept calls at any time of day or night. While patients will not be able to speak to a staff member after hours, they can still get general information or manage their prescription refills. Your staff will be notified in the morning of any prescription requests that came in overnight.
- Place Outbound Patient Calls. You can callout to patients directly and give them custom automated messages, such as a notification that their Rx is ready for pickup.
- Customize Messages and Advertisements. You can record a customized message that plays whenever someone places a call to your pharmacy. This can be a friendly greeting or even a chance to advertise something going on in your pharmacy. (Example: “We are now offering flu shots, come in to get yours today!)
Choosing the Right IVR for Your Pharmacy:
Every pharmacy software vendor will have certain IVR systems that they integrate best with and are most compatible with. Some pharmacy software vendors even have their own IVR system that is built into the software. It’s a good idea to talk to your software vendor and ask them what IVR they recommend. This information can usually be found on the pharmacy software’s website as well. This is a good place to start so that you can ensure that whatever IVR you choose will work smoothly with your pharmacy’s control center - the software.
Some Popular IVR Vendors: