Text Messaging in Pharmacy
Nearly all U.S. adults now have the needed technology — a cell phone — to send and receive texts. Text messaging is simple and familiar. Not only is nearly everyone able to send and receive texts, most people text regularly and are therefore comfortable with the practice.
Refill Reminders And Requests
A pharmacy can schedule texts to be sent to patients a few days prior to when their prescription should run out. Patients can then respond to these messages in order to inform the pharmacy as to whether they actually need the refill or not. Patients can also use text messaging to submit a refill request that is unprompted by the pharmacy. A pharmacy can then continue the interaction by texting status updates.
Prescription Status Updates
A pharmacy can alert patients via automated text messaging as to the status of their prescription. For instance, the pharmacy can let patients know when their prescription is ready for pickup and how much it will cost. Alternatively, if the prescription has expired or has no remaining refills, then patients can be informed of this via text. If the filling of a prescription is delayed for some reason — due to being out of stock or on backorder, for example — then this can be relayed to patients by text. If a prescription is not covered by insurance, then this too can be relayed to patients by text. Texts can also be used to let patients know that their prescription has been picked up. This can be helpful when someone other than the patient picks up the prescription.
Upcoming Clinics And Events
Oftentimes, pharmacies hold events such as vaccine clinics, diabetes care clinics, and general health fairs. Patients can be made aware of these events via text messaging.
Medications do not work if they are not taken. Many patients, even if they have good intentions, often need reminding to ensure they take their medications as prescribed. This may be especially true when patients are first starting a continuous regimen, are prescribed a medication for only a short duration, or are on multiple medications. Scheduled text messages can be used to gently remind patients at the opportune time to take their medications. This approach has been shown to significantly improve medication adherence, at least in the short term.A pharmacy can schedule texts to be sent to patients a few days prior to when their prescription should run out. P