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Improving Patient Experience with Automation #1

In this series of blogs, we will explore ideas across healthcare where Robotic Process Automation (RPA) could help improve patient experience and address some of the real-world issues faced by our community today.

Have you ever experienced the frustration of visiting your doctor and being issued a prescription, only to find out that your local pharmacy doesn't have the medicine in stock?

It's an all-too-common scenario that can lead to hours of waiting or even having to make a return trip the following day.

While this inconvenience is frustrating for anyone, it can be particularly problematic for vulnerable groups such as the elderly or those with mobility issues or learning difficulties. For them, the impact of such a delay can be immense, and it highlights a major flaw in the current system.

But what if there was a way to streamline the prescription process and ensure that patients can get the medicine they need, without any unnecessary delays or complications?

Using automation to potentially link GP systems directly to high-street pharmacies could offer a solution. With electronic prescriptions (sent directly from the GP to the assigned pharmacy) the bot will know the target pharmacy and could access the dispensing system to check when the prescription is ready for collection and notify the patient via text message or automated voice call that it is ready. This simple patient notification will save unnecessary visits and inconvenience for patients.

How else could automation help with prescription management?

  1. Inventory management: RPA can be used to optimise and automate inventory management processes, ensuring that pharmacies maintain adequate stock levels of medications. This would minimise the chances of medications being out of stock when patients arrive for collection.

  2. Real-time notifications: RPA can be integrated with pharmacy management systems to send real-time notifications to patients when their prescriptions are ready for collection or if there are any delays. This would prevent patients from making unnecessary trips to the pharmacy.

  3. Prescription tracking: RPA can facilitate better communication between healthcare providers, pharmacies, and patients by automating the tracking of prescription statuses. This would help pharmacies prepare the medications in advance and provide patients with accurate collection times.

  4. Home delivery: RPA can help automate the process of coordinating home deliveries for prescriptions, enabling elderly patients with mobility issues to receive their medications without having to travel to the pharmacy. By streamlining the delivery process and improving efficiency, RPA can make home delivery a more viable option for pharmacies.

  5. Telemedicine integration: RPA can be used to integrate telemedicine platforms with pharmacy systems, allowing healthcare providers to send electronic prescriptions directly to pharmacies. This can help expedite the prescription process and minimise the risk of miscommunication, ensuring that medications are ready for pick up when patients arrive.

By implementing RPA in these areas, pharmacies can improve their services for elderly patients with mobility issues and reduce the likelihood of them being turned away due to out-of-stock medications or unprepared prescriptions.

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