No One Listens to Voicemails? Here’s a Better Option

Steve Coomes, RPh, wasn’t looking for a collaboration platform for his pharmacy but, one look at Updox, and he signed up on the spot.

Pharmacy Patient Engagement Software and Technology Solutions

Steve is owner and lead pharmacist for Aubrey Health Mart Pharmacy, a community pharmacy in Aubrey, Texas, with two pharmacists, a pharmacy intern and 12 staff members.

It’s important for him to offer personalized services to his patients and make them feel like family.

He’d first heard of Updox through ComputerRx, his pharmacy management system. Then, while attending a McKesson trade show, he saw a demo of the pharmacy platform and was sold. “I attended the show to learn what was innovative, what was the next technology on the horizon for pharmacy. I didn’t have a specific need but I was curious to see what was available. I could see immediately that Updox would help us serve our patients better.”

Aubrey Pharmacy uses Updox to help them acquire new patients, engage current customers and collaborate with prescribers through an all-in-one platform that provides for pharmacy document management, texting, broadcast messaging, inter-office messaging, custom forms and reminders. Steve estimates that their success with Updox, between time savings and hard costs for paper, toner and phone lines, has saved him $12,000 a year – an outstanding return on investment for the pharmacy.

Steve said staff embraced Updox quickly once they saw how easy it made their work. “A document comes in, you review it, forward it where it needs to go and you move to the next item. Plus, sending a text is so much more fulfilling than leaving voice mail after voice mail,” says Steve. “This was an immediate success and that was just one part of Updox.”  

“We Unplugged Our Fax Machine”

Steve took an unusual route when it came to implementing Updox within his pharmacy. “Once we had Updox up and running, we unplugged our fax machine and got it out of the pharmacy. It was a habit we needed to break and it only took a few days before everyone forgot we ever had one,” he says.

Using Updox has not only saved Aubrey Pharmacy in hard costs for paper, toner and shredding, but they’ve also seen huge savings in time with fewer phone calls (thanks to reminders, texting and Broadcast messaging). Staff can text patients when their prescriptions are ready, notify them about co-payment amounts or group message regarding flu vaccine availability or other information.

Texting has been a game changer for us,” says Steve. “Voice mail was frustrating as we would leave messages with questions or requesting information and patients would call back and say ‘I missed a call from you’ but hadn’t listened to the message. We’d have to figure out who had called them or what information we needed to get. With text, we can send the information they need to receive or the question we have. They can call or text back if necessary and it’s a much quicker, more efficient process.”

“I Don’t Leave Voicemails Anymore”

In fact, Steve reports getting information in writing, either via text or fax, has become standard practice for the pharmacy. “I don’t leave voice mails anymore. If we need clarification about a prescription request, we use the editing tool in Updox to mark the request and fax it right back to the prescriber. They either write their reply on it and fax back or submit a new request and we have it all documented and verified within Updox. It’s just a much more secure process for us and saves so much time,” he says.

“Beyond the cost savings, the efficiency we get through Updox has been great,” says Steve. “We don’t have to leave our work area, walk to the fax machine and then wait. If an office calls because they lost our fax, we don’t have to send it again. We just hit a resend button. We’re not leaving a voice mail and then, when the patient calls back, trying to interrupt people to ask who called the patient and what was the request.”

The pharmacy regularly is used as a tour site by their vendor partners and visitors and guests comment how uncluttered the pharmacy is with no stacks of paper, nothing needing filed, no reminder notes. Everything is electronic and within the Updox inbox thanks to their successful integration with Computer-Rx. That neater, more organized work area has a positive impact on staff and on patients.

“Nothing Needs to be Resent or Re-requested” 

Staff satisfaction is also achieved by eliminating rework. “Tags and routing within Updox make us so much more efficient. If something needs a pharmacists’ review or I specifically need to see a document, tags help us act upon items quicker and move to the next task. Things are just sorted so much better, nothing is lost, nothing needs to be resent or re-requested.”

Updox also helped the pharmacy create a custom form for new prescription requests that eliminates back and forth phone calls or faxes for additional information.

“Honestly, I don’t know why any pharmacy wouldn’t have Updox. I’d tell anyone to implement it today – the results are that impactful for yourself, your staff and your patients,” says Steve. “The amount of rework Updox has eliminated has been great. We can spend more time helping patients and that’s exactly why I opened this pharmacy. It really helps fulfill our business.”

Learn more about how Updox supports Pharmacies.

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