Digital innovations make it easier than ever to get a prescription filled with UCHealth’s outpatient pharmacies.
Speech recognition, the UCHealth app and a pill-dispensing robot offer added conveniences to ensure patients promptly receive medication.
“We have been hearing positive feedback from our patients. They enjoy the fact they can order their prescriptions over the phone at any time, regardless of our business hours,” said Laura Gilbert, pharmacy technician II with the UCHealth Springs Pharmacy at Memorial Hospital Central in Colorado Springs.
Digital self-service, timely prescription updates
When calling one of UCHealth’s 16 outpatient pharmacies across Colorado’s Front Range, patients can easily order a refill, check prescription status, find out pharmacy hours and more in a matter of seconds through speech-recognition software. It isn’t necessary to already be a patient at a UCHealth facility to have prescriptions filled at a UCHealth pharmacy.
Andrew Davis, associate director of Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Services for the UCHealth Metro Denver Region, said UCHealth’s technology experts have “unofficially branded this year as the year of the outpatient pharmacy” with numerous improvements to enhance the patient’s experience, from offering self-service to providing timely updates.
Through UCHealth’s My Health Connection app and website, patients can now receive notifications when a prescription is ready as well as receive reminders for refills and expirations. If there’s a problem with a prescription – for example, it’s out of stock – that also leads to a notification. In March, the notification services are to be extended to the outbound phone system, so patients will be able to receive them via automated phone call.
These upgrades and more developed as a direct result from comments submitted by UCHealth patients and employees.
UCHealth’s pharmacies are all electronically integrated, so patients can receive refills at any of them. All work closely with physicians and offer consultation services beyond what most pharmacies offer. For patients ordering through UPS, the app or website can send notification when the prescription ships.
A pill-vending robot on wheels
“Our campus is quite large, and we have multiple outpatient pharmacies located on the Anschutz Medical Campus,” said Patricia Lanius, manager of pharmacy operations with Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Services.
The robot, named Pillington, brings prescriptions from the Anschutz Outpatient Pavilion pharmacy to a pick-up site at the Sue Anschutz-Rodgers Eye Center. The technology arrives in addition to an automated pharmacy kiosk at the Anschutz Inpatient Pavilion lobby.
“Pillington is a real conversation-starter,” Lanius said.
Next, Pillington is being taught to call elevators. And work is underway to introduce a Pillington II to make deliveries at locations such as the cancer center buildings on campus.