Medsen Apotheken owns a chain of 42 pharmacies in the Netherlands with over 550 employees. The company’s philosophy is to always put the customers’ health first. This means that pharmacists should be dedicating as much time as needed to each customer. Medsen Apotheken relies on innovation and implements technology to fulfill this goal.
One of the issues that pharmacies face is prescription delivery times. Anyone who goes to a pharmacy is familiar with the problem: the medication hasn't arrived, or isn't ready when the customer comes to collect it. “We regularly had to send customers home empty-handed, because their orders had not been delivered,” explains pharmacist Huong Bom. "Customers would call us in advance to ask about the status of their prescription to make sure their trip would be worthwhile," continued Bom's colleague, Thi Tran. Both pharmacists work at Groot Driene pharmacy in Hengelo, a medium-sized pharmacy. With the goal of better informing its customers and increasing customer satisfaction, Medsen Apotheken turned to technology to resolve this issue. They collaborated with Datalogic Business Partner Viridis Nederland in Naarden.
Viridis developed a creative solution using Gryphon™ imagers from Datalogic, which allows customers to receive notification by text message when their medication is ready for collection. “Viridis had previously provided us with a solution to digitize our prescription archive. They also created a link between our 24-hour collection system and our pharmacist information system called Apotheek Informatie Systeem (AIS)," relates Danny van Velsen, Regional Manager of Medsen Apotheken. AIS holds information such as medication, customer name, address, and mobile number. The new solution uses the mobile number to communicate the status of their order. “Our customers receive a text message when their prescriptions are ready for collection," explains Van Velsen.
Gryphon GM4100 imagers from Datalogic are an essential part of the system. "In order to inform our customers properly, it is essential that we have up-to-the-minute information about the status of an order," continues Van Velsen. The imagers track the prescription at every phase of the process. Van Velsen noted, "we wanted a wireless RF imager that we could use anywhere without the need for a laptop or PC. It had to have a bright screen for displaying the relevant information and be easy to operate. The Gryphon imagers from Datalogic were a perfect match."
Using the Gryphon imagers for tracking and tracing every step of the process increases clarity and ensures that customers are better informed. Pharmacists can now call up the status of their prescription at any time. The status "in progress" was already available, but now whether a follow-up delivery is expected can also be seen.
The result is considerably fewer telephone calls, which Bom estimates to represent a saving of around 33%. "Bear in mind the average pharmacist in the Netherlands processes approximately 100,000 prescriptions a year. It's easy to see that the information we now have available has a significant impact on our efficiency," states Van Velsen. According to Tran, the drop in the workload is very apparent. He states, "We are able to use our time much more efficiently to increase and enhance customer service at the pharmacy."
Once a prescription is ready, its storage location is also scanned. This greatly reduces the time spent searching for prescriptions. Shelving the orders is now a much quicker process. For the Hengelo branch, Bom estimates that a time saving of around 40% is gained from shelving orders alone.
“Now that everything is scanned with the Gryphon imager, mistakes have been almost eliminated," explains Tran. In addition, all prescriptions are digitally archived straight away. This ensures pharmacists meet the legal requirements for storing prescriptions for several years. They are also able to trace the prescriptions very easily.
In Bom's view, it is clear that the new process of scanning at every stage of the process is advantageous for all involved. "Our customers have made it clear that they are pleased with the increased information. We are able to use our time more effectively and offer better customer service." Regional Manager Van Velsen heartily agrees and is already looking ahead. "Actually, there is still a missing link," he concludes. "We can further optimize the process by having our delivery service use mobile computers. We are currently exploring this possibility for Medsen Apotheken."
Customer: Medsen Apotheken
Application: Track & Trace
Country: The Netherlands
Datalogic Product: Gryphon™ GM4100 imager
Datalogic Partner: Viridis Nederland - Naarden