Everyone will be able to order a repeat prescription online by 2015
So the Government publihed their NHS mandate this week.
One part that stuck out for me was 'by 2015 everyone will be able to book their GP appointments online, order a repeat prescription online and talk to their GP practice online. This will help people better manage their health and care.'
Particularly the bit about everyone being able to order their repeat prescription online by 2015. This is something some pharmacies are starting to offer but more need to embrace it and offer the service to patients and customers. If you don't offer it the GP's won't worry about you and will just get on with it.
The roll out of EPS2 is starting to gather a little speed - from a glacial-paced beginning - and some pharmacies are alreay operating it or are prepared however, it's largely the GP's holding it back. The elephant in the room is some GP's encouraging scripts elsewhere, maybe to their own pharmacy where they retain an interest or to one they have an agreement with. Officially, of course, they would never do it, it doesn't happen, oh and it's illegal!!!! Mmmmmmm we know different and it can, and is happening.
The big threat to all independents comes from the multiples and other competitors taking your repeat prescription businees away from your pharmacy. Already Boots are offering extra loyalty points if customers sign up to their scheme and others are following with similar offers.
Start registering customers to your pharmacy NOW. It does not guarantee that another pharmacy can't entice them away but it makes it very, very hard - if your customers are ordering their repeats online through you, are happy with your service and there are other benefits too (many come with our websites) they are pretty unlikely to want to go through the hassle of changing. That's the message.
We have an app launching beginning of next year that makes all this even easier, syncs with your website and caters to the rapidly growing numbers of the population that like to use phones, tablets, mobile devices etc. Surprisingly, it's the elderly population where the uptake of these devices is most remarkable. Even less likely they'll want to go anywhere else!