The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way consumers procure healthcare supplies and medical care. This is true for both supplies related to chronic conditions (e.g., diabetes) and supplies related to an acute illness (e.g., seasonal flu).
As the world emerges from two years of pandemic, many patients plan to continue buying their healthcare supplies online because the convenience and transparency (one-click checkout, order tracking tools, boxless returns, SMS notifications, etc.) make health management faster and easier than ever before.
Communication is imperative for healthcare purchases. To succeed, retailers and providers must proactively update patients about their orders, including when orders are shipped, expected delivery dates, delays (if they occur), and delivery confirmations.
Email or text communications about healthcare and pharmacy orders aren’t limited to “where is my order” (WISMO) messaging; they’re also a convenient way of communicating dosage or use instructions about medications or healthcare devices.
Does a medication need to be refrigerated or taken with food? That information can be included in a customized confirmation email. Since 85% of Americans now have smartphones, email or text-linked instructions ensure that a patient has the information they need about their medication, wherever they go.
Narvar helps providers connect patients with the information they need in compliance with all HIPAA rules. Our customized emails and tracking platform can save patients time and energy, and can drastically reduce WISMO inquiries to providers.
Buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) services are appealing to patients with acute illness because they utilize store employees to shop an order before handing it off to the patient. (Anyone who has tried to buy cold medication through the brain fog of a cold can relate.)
BOPIS can also keep pharmacy employees and other customers safer by minimizing contact with high touch points like door handles, checkout counters, and credit card machines.
While BOPIS may not offer the same degree of immediacy as shopping in person, pharmacies like Walgreens are offering curbside pickup in as little as 30 minutes. That slight delay is an acceptable trade-off for most customers given the convenience.
On the rare occasion that a healthcare item must be returned—including recalls—Narvar’s platform takes the hassle out of the return process. Patients can initiate returns online, regardless of whether they purchased in-store or online, and access the industry’s widest choice of return channels.
Prior to the pandemic, most doctor’s appointments were in person and prescriptions were filled at the local pharmacy. Now, virtual appointments are an everyday occurrence. Online pharmacies and healthcare providers are commonplace. Healthcare is becoming more accessible, and the right digital tools will make the transition from real-world to online care easier and safer.