Like in other pharmacies, employees at Lekarna Ljubljana were facing the challenge of manual appointment scheduling, giving a considerable amount of time to answering phone and e-mails, so they started to search for a more practical solution.
Lekarna Ljubljana wanted to provide its customers with a modern and straightforward service scheduling solution. The solution would also reduce their personnel workload and make appointment management easier.
Lekarna Ljubljana is the largest public pharmacy institution in Slovenia, operating in 52 pharmacies and pharmacy branches, making the most extensive pharmacy network in the region. More than 360 employees are annually processing on average 3 million prescriptions.
Here is a more detailed overview of this case study digging profoundly into the mentioned values and exploring automated appointment scheduling benefits.
Considering Lekarna’s wishes, an online appointment scheduling solution is designed to communicate with Lekarna’s customers, schedule appointments for consulting services, send them reminders, and share informational content.
Functionalities are available to users via a tailor-made webchat placed on Lekarna’s website. Chatbot’s main task is to lead the conversation based on user input and to help them schedule, check or reschedule appointments.
Another part of this chatbot solution that provides personnel with insights into scheduled appointments is the web admin interface. It consists of a calendar of meetings, a manageable list of pharmacies, patients, their appointment history, and reports linked to appointments.
After a short introduction, chatbot Živa either authenticates registered users (they have to enter a mobile phone number and the PIN code sent to them by SMS) or leads them through the registration process.
Once identified, users are presented with possible actions. They can check and reschedule previously arranged appointments or create new ones by choosing the desired service, pharmacy’s location, date, and time. To enable that, each pharmacy has to publish dates at which service scheduling will be available and which services will be offered.
The calendar is automatically updated with every appointment and can be manually adjusted by admins if necessary. Each pharmacy has its administrator that can access and manage pharmacy appointments. What is more, each pharmacy can update their information such as an address, list of available services, and scheduling dates.
To ensure a better customer experience, different types of questionnaires are being filled before or after each appointment to give more details about the health condition or express the appointment's satisfaction level.
We allowed patients to schedule their appointment within 13 seconds without disturbing the pharmacy personnel. The solution saves employees’ time that can be redirected to specific pharmaceutical activities where human assistance is a prerequisite.
Virtual assistant Živa has proven to be an indispensable tool during a pandemic, as it allows a video-conferencing connection to be established between a pharmacist and a patient.
- Milan Balaban, mag. pharm.