Meijer has launched a new contactless pharmacy tool to allow customers to manage prescriptions, schedule vaccinations and fill out required forms on their smartphones before visiting a pharmacy.
The progressive web app technology launched earlier this year, but new enhancements can make customer trips to the pharmacy even safer in light of the pandemic and anticipation of the upcoming flu season.
Customers can access a personalized app-like online experience through a link in a text message sent by Meijer pharmacists to their mobile phone. From there, customers can confirm prescription pickup times, prepare for and schedule vaccination visits, connect their Meijer mPerks to their transaction, and check out via mobile device.
Patients wanting to receive a a flu vaccination can also use the texting-based pharmacy services to fill out their immunization forms and give their consent online before even stepping foot in the pharmacy. This eliminates the need for in-person paperwork and use of high-touch pens and clipboards. Upon receiving the completed digital form from the patient, Meijer pharmacists complete the transaction and reply with a text message alerting the patient that their vaccine is ready to be administered.
"With all of the unprecedented changes this year, we know our customers feel there is nothing more important than maintaining their family's health," Meijer VP of Pharmacy Jason Beauch said. "We hope this innovative technology provides a seamless experience that makes getting vaccines and filling prescriptions as stress-free as possible."
The texting-based pharmacy communication platform has seen more than 600,000 new users since May, and Meijer said that interest is expected to grow even more during the flu season.
Patients can schedule a day for their flu shots as far as 10 days in advance. On that day, they will receive a reminder via text message notifying them that their flu shot is ready. The digital pharmacy system will also automatically notify the State Registry for Immunizations and the patient's primary care provider once the shot is administered.
Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Meijer operates more than 245 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The company is No. 19 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.