The National Heath Fund (NHF), in an effort to reduce waiting time and improve efficiency at Drug Serv Pharmacy locations, will shortly be rolling out a prescription submission application called the ‘NHF Quick Prescript’.
Chief Executive Officer at the NHF, Everton Anderson tells JIS news that the Quick Prescript App, is one of the newest and most innovative strategies being implemented by the agency to bring about improvements in service delivery at Drug Serv pharmacies.
“The application being introduced is an improvement on the existing WhatsApp facility which currently allows patients to upload their prescriptions via a number that they are provided with and (are then able to) pick up their drugs after receiving a notification to do so,” Mr Anderson says.
There are approximately 2.7 million outpatient visits through primary and secondary care public health facilities in Jamaica, with an estimated 2.2 million prescriptions resulting from these visits.
Public sector pharmacies are being rebranded as Drug Serv Pharmacies andthe NHF is moving to make improvements to the system, to serve the volume of prescriptions arising from outpatient visits.
Mr Anderson notes that while the WhatsApp facility allowed for greater convenience and quicker processing, there were a few limitations which NHF Quick Prescript would address, including more efficient handling of the prescriptions submitted and reduced backlogs.
The NHF Quick Prescript Application which will be available to users via Google Play Store and the App Store, is downloadable on mobile devices such as tablets and cell phones with available internet connection.
“The patient, having downloaded the application on their devices, will be able to take a photograph of their prescription issued by the doctor at their public health centre or public hospital and upload it using the NHF Quick Prescript App; eliminating the need for cues at the prescription drop-off windows,” the Chief Executive Officer explains.
In addition, patients will be able to access the application via kiosks which will be placed at health Centres and public hospitals across the Island.
“We are well aware that not all patients will own or have access to smart devices in order to utilize the NHF Quick Prescript App and so they will be able to scan and upload their prescriptions at our kiosks,” Mr Anderson states.
Kiosks are currently located at the Greater Portmore and Union Square (Cross Roads) Drug Serv locations, with further piloting to take place at Drug Serv Pharmacies in May Pen and the Kingston Public Hospital.
The uploaded prescriptions from the Kiosks will be received at the NHF Quick Prescript Processing Centre, where the information is entered into the Prescription Management System (PIMS) and the prescription dispensed at the pharmacy of choice.
The patient will receive a notification on their mobile device when the items are ready for pickup. Persons will then be able to collect their items from the pharmacies at their convenience, but usually within two hours of the pick-up notification being confirmed.
“The feedback so far has been extremely positive from the pilot locations. The patients are enjoying the convenience of the new facility and are anxiously awaiting the full rollout,” Mr Andersons says.
He adds that persons are on location to assist individuals in carrying out the process, so as to make it a smooth and pleasant one for all customers.
The NHF is hoping to have the initiative fully rolled out within a month.