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Easily accessible chat with the Jeroen Bosch Hospital outpatient pharmacy

Since March 2021, patients at the Jeroen Bosch Hospital (JBZ) outpatient pharmacy have been able to make contact with the pharmaceutical assistant or pharmacist. Using a live chat window on the pharmacy’s website, they can easily ask questions regarding medication, amend their prescription, or request repeat prescriptions on working days.

In the outpatient pharmacy’s vision of pharmaceutical care, the patient is in control and can make informed, individual choices by asking questions. A live chat is the ideal, easily accessible means of communication here.

The right platform

After searching for six months for a safe, functional platform, the pharmacist came up with the Enovation Zaurus live chat. Alongside information security and confidentiality being the cornerstones of the Enovation Zaurus platform, there are also additional options. Enovation Zaurus offers the option of sending photos through the live chat, meaning that patients can easily share prescriptions and photos of medication boxes, for example, to receive additional information.

Positive collaboration

The team behind Enovation Zaurus were impressed by the input from the outpatient pharmacy at the JBZ – for instance, a link with a medication database was developed in consultation with the pharmacy. When the live chat now detects certain key words (relating, for example, to specific symptoms, ailments or medications), the patient is automatically referred to relevant information within the database. Following the initial contact via the live chat, the patient can transfer to a pharmacy assistant if required.

Naomi, a pharmaceutical assistant, manages the live chat.

Naomi, a pharmaceutical assistant, manages the live chat.

A practical working method

The pharmacist works with a tablet, which is managed by the pharmaceutical assistant on a day-to-day basis. This means that the assistant can easily hand over the iPad to a colleague during breaks. If required, the assistant forwards the chat to the pharmacist, but experience is showing that most of the queries can be handled by the pharmaceutical assistant.

Patients and colleagues are happy with the live chat

It appears that patients frequently use the live chat. This is certainly been helped by the pharmacist, who proactively hands out information flyers, prominently displaying the live chat on the website, and promoting it via the pharmacy’s Instagram (@bosschepillekesjbz). Pharmacy staff are happy with the wide variety of queries. It appears that the chat is also working very effectively for questions from pharmacists in the local region, for example with questions regarding supply. This saves time on making telephone calls.

Quick and easy

Pharmaceutical assistant Naomi advised “It’s an easy way of communicating, patients can contact us quickly and easily”, says Naomi. “An informal caregiver approached us, for example, because she found it difficult to determine the times when medicines should be taken by her relative. We were able to assist her effectively through the chat. In addition to the more substantial questions, patients also approach the pharmacy on a regular basis with questions regarding supply or to request repeat prescriptions”.
The live chat facility has been well received by the patients. “Recently, a patient mentioned how surprised she was that she received effective, timely assistance via the chat”, says Naomi. “Her expectation was that she’d be speaking to a robot, but received tailor-made advice from a pharmaceutical assistant”.

Future Plans

The pharmacist evaluates the live chat on a regular basis and in future and hopes to extend the service to patients admitted to the JBZ, who can ask the pharmacist questions from their bed using a tablet. Eventually, the aim is that more and more patients can be helped in this easily accessible way.
“Patients are increasingly aware of how to reach us, and that’s reflected in the increasing number of chats”, says Naomi.