There are different IVR system vendors and some are better than others. Pharmacy IVR systems are usually expensive so be ready for a hefty price tag either up front or per month. Most IVR vendors will charge you an upfront license or install fee as well.
Remember to make sure your phone system and pharmacy system is compatible with whatever IVR system you go with. Some IVR companies integrate much better with certain pharmacy systems. For example AIS IVR and VOW IVR integrate very well with PioneerRx. Check out which of the major pharmacy systems integrate with which IVR system here.
Need more pharmacy IT help? Check out our Tech Learning Center
Each pharmacy system has their own chosen IVR vendors that they choose to work with. The IVR systems picks an interface provided by the pharmacy system and that is how the two systems communicate back and forth.
Again some IVR systems work much better than others. The integration features are usually where the vendors differ. For example: Some IVR systems allow direct chat messages inside the pharmacy system. The staff member never has to leave the pharmacy system application and can chat while still in workflow.
We recommend checking with your pharmacy system to see which IVR system they recommend. However be careful because the pharmacy system might have an incentive to sign you up with their preferred vendor. Do your research and ask around before you make a choice on your IVR investment.
List of Retail Pharmacy Systems and their IVR partners
Best RX – link to compatible ivr systems
ComputerRX – link to compatible ivr systems
EnterpriseRX / Pharmaserv – link to compatible ivr systems
PioneerRX – link to compatible ivr systems
PrimeRX – link to compatible ivr systems
Need help choosing an IVR system for your pharmacy? Let us help.
IVR systems with AI (Artificial Intelligence)
IVR systems are slowing changing thanks to AI in 2019. AI is helping proactively reach patients based on interaction and data gathered. For example: When it is time for a patient refill, the IVR interacts with the pharmacy system data to send an automatic text notification to the patient to remind them about their refill. This helps with patient adherence and maximizing the refill opportunity for the pharmacy.
New technology is allowing AI to work with speech recognition software that can actually understand what the caller is saying while also detecting their level of stress. If a patient or doctor is detected at a high volume of stress the IVR can automatically transfer the call to a staff member.
The future with AI
The future of AI isn’t with voice recognition but instead with visual. In the near future IVR companies will be able to prompt patients with a visual menu when the pharmacy number is dialed and displayed on their phone. A menu with a number of options including: take a photo of their pill bottle to request the refill. Send the pharmacy address to their navigation app on their phone. See photos of the pharmacy and pharmacist. All of this can be accomplished with a AI and visual IVRs.
Self-service is the future of IVR and IVR companies are looking to give patients a better fit for their personal needs. To learn more about AI and how it works with IVR you can read more at GENESYS they are leading the way with the future of IVR development. However, currently no pharmacy IVR company offers “Visual IVR” services, but it’s just a matter of time before the pharmacy ivr companies adapt these new technologies.
What to ask the IVR company
We recommend asking for demos from at least 2 or 3 IVR companies that integrate with your pharmacy system. This way you can see exactly what your buying. You will see the product first hand and ask questions you may have regarding the IVR system being offered.
Some questions to ask IVR system:
- What are your support hours and what if I have an issue on the weekend?
- Do you offer mobile development?
- What phone system does your IVR system integrate with?
- How is your relationship with my pharmacy system? Do you have a lot of customers on my pharmacy system using your IVR solution?
- My patients like to hear familair voices, can I do custom greetings and messages?
- Will you help me if I need to create an outbound marketing campaign using the IVR?
The final decision
As we mentioned earlier an IVR is a costly investment into your pharmacy business. However it also is a must-have investment in any pharmacy. Your patients and prescribers expect a pharmacy to have IVR technology for 24/7 access to the pharmacy. Your staff will appreciate the reduction of phone calls coming into the pharmacy and this frees them up to focus on their workflow.
The automation features of an IVR alone makes the investment worth it in the long run. No longer does a staff member have to call the patient to notify them their prescription is ready. Leverage the power of an IVR for your pharmacy today!