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Online pharmacy service Pharmacy2u plans to improve customer communications by implementing a digital platform, making it easier for people to get in touch.
The online pharmacy, which provides NHS repeat prescriptions and online doctor services, has signed up to take a communications platform from supplier RingCentral.
The pharmacy hopes the digital system will make it easier for people to communicate through a range of choices, including voice, online chat, text messages and emails.
Having pharmacy services solely online means customers are able to use the mobile app to order their repeat prescriptions and receive reminders when it’s time to re-order their medication.
Implementing the RingCentral platform aims to make this even easier, as it has intelligent interactive voice response and provides self-service options for patients, aiming to quickly route their queries to the right person.
For staff, the pharmacy can use the platform to improve scheduling and efficiencies in the contact centre.
Customer care director at Pharmacy2u, Andy Williams, said he hopes the platform will deliver a “truly unified communication experience and continue to deliver the highest levels of customer service while driving efficiency across the business” as the pharmacy continues to grow.
“We are adding around 7,000 patients per week, which is the equivalent of 16 new high street pharmacies opening each month, and our aim is to allow people to contact us using the method that suits them best, whether that’s by phone, email or webchat,” he said.
PHamacy2U’s online doctor service is regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Although the CQC’s February 2017 report found issues with patient identification, prescriptions and asthma care, its 2018 update said the services now provided by the pharmacy are safe, and that there are appropriate safeguards in place when providing online services.
The CQC has been sceptical to online primary care services. It said that while some providers have excellent information sharing practices in place, others were not as rigorous.
Many of the providers did ask patients to consent to their information being shared, however, some providers “only collected details of a patient’s GP if the patient gave consent to share the information, and GP details were not required to be recorded irrespective of whether information would be shared”.