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How two pharmacies are enhancing patient care with eCare

Pharmacist with tablet in hand

In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, pharmacies are embracing innovative pharmacy technology like Pharmasave eCare to enhance patient care and streamline services. We recently had the opportunity to interview a Pharmasave owner and technician who have successfully adopted the Kroll-integrated PharmaConnect™ mobile application eCare for Pharmasave pharmacies.

In this Q&A style interview Caitlin Giercke, Pharmasave owner, and Tracey McEachern, pharmacy technician, share their firsthand experiences and insights on Pharmasave eCare, a transformative pharmacy technology and mobile patient tool, and highlight the many benefits for both patients and pharmacists.

1. Can you please tell us a little about yourself and your role?

Caitlin: My name is Caitlin Giercke and I am the owner and pharmacy manager at Pharmasave 456 in Portage la Prairie, MB; a community 75 km east of Winnipeg that boasts a population of 13,000. We opened amid the early days of the pandemic in June 2020 and have steadily grown our business to include an expansion of our space after only three years of business.

Tracey: My name is Tracey McEachern and I have worked at Amherst Pharmasave in Amherst, NS since July 2003 and became a licensed Pharmacy Technician in 2015. I manage all assistant and support staff within the pharmacy and work alongside our pharmacy manager on some of the day-to-day running of the pharmacy.

2. What motivated you to adopt the Pharmasave eCare app initially?

Caitlin: Initially, adopting the Pharmasave eCare app was appealing to us because we were a smaller pharmacy with a smaller staff, and having patients be able to order medications through the app helped us streamline our workflow. It also allowed a more “contactless” interaction when we weren't allowed to see people in person.

Tracey: We were asked to be a pilot store many years ago and jumped right in. I love seeing technology evolve with us in the pharmacy. We also pride ourselves in being a leading store in the field. Trying out new ideas (pilots and more), and being able to provide feedback to help expand on these ideas is very fulfilling.

3. In your experience, how has Pharmasave eCare streamlined your daily workflow and tasks?

Caitlin: We are sure to set up “text notifications” for all new patients (young and old) and often when patients come to pick up their order we ask “did you receive a text message”? The notification feature keeps clients updated on the status of their order, and in turn helps reduce the number of unclaimed prescriptions that need to be canceled and returned to stock, effectively saving us from duplicative work. For me, that's been the biggest impact.

Tracey: When a new prescription image gets dropped into our workflow, we smile knowing we have alleviated one more person having to spend unneeded time away from home to drop off that prescription before we can even start to fill it. This year with the new update, we made patients aware of the documents available to them right from the app, such as their tax receipts.

4. How has the Pharmasave eCare app positively impacted the level of patient care you provide?

Caitlin: A feature I like about the Pharmasave eCare app is the picture of the drug. I find it's important for some patients as they may struggle to pronounce names but will recognize the shape or colour. Having multiple profiles on one app is great for those who manage the medications for their families or even for their aging parents. To be able to switch from one profile to the next is useful for people managing the medications of others.

Tracey: The app has allowed patients to take a more positive approach to their health. Patients appreciate being able to see what the medication looks like so they can cross reference at home. Patients are having better compliance with medications as it is alerting them with refill reminders, so they are better at ordering in advance. 

5. How do you strike a balance between leveraging technology for efficiency and maintaining personalized, patient-focused care?

Caitlin: We make sure to focus on our patients when they come into the store and give them an experience they may not get at a “bigger, busier” pharmacy,  from knowing them when they walk in to making sure they leave with a smile. Using technology can make our interactions easier, but at the end of the day, it's the face-to-face that is important. To me, the Pharmasave eCare app makes it easier for patients to communicate what they need from us, and then we take care of the rest when they come in.

Tracey: I always like to remember to treat our patients how we would want to be treated. They could be coming to see us on the worst or best day of their lives. We want them to have a positive personalized experience – but also be aware of technology that is there to help them in the times we are not there in person. Increased technology adoption doesn’t mean you stop seeing your patients; it means you can fully be present when they need one-on-one time because you have technology in the background helping with the daily workflow.

6. How do you think pharmacies can stay innovative and adaptable in the rapidly changing healthcare landscape?

Caitlin: Pharmacies have the opportunity to embrace technology to enhance their day-to-day operations; from scanning in original documents to offering online booking for services such as flu shots and consultations. For us, technology like the Pharmasave eCare app allows us to be more efficient and streamline our interactions with patients. We need to be adaptable to what our patients require.

Tracey: We need to be open to change, as the pharmacy landscape is rapidly evolving. My team and I embrace the old while exploring new possibilities that could help us. Don’t be afraid to take chances, or to try something before saying “oh that will never work here”. How do you know unless you give it a chance?

The future is here

The experiences shared by our featured Pharmasave clients highlights the tangible benefits of integrating eCare, a mobile prescription refill service, into pharmacy operations. As the digital transformation in healthcare continues to advance, applications like Pharmasave eCare offer a valuable opportunity for pharmacies to enhance patient engagement, improve workflow efficiency, and elevate the overall quality of care. 

For pharmacists looking to embrace a more connected and patient-centric approach to pharmacy services, explore how PharmaConnect™ can be tailored to meet the unique needs of your pharmacy.

Pharmasave owner Caitlin GierckePharmasave technician Tracey McEachern