We could’ve turned away from the challenge. It would have been easier to act like we had no choice. COVID-19? Sorry, here it’s business as usual.
But that’s not the ScriptDrop way.
Since launching our patient-initiated prescription home delivery service on March 16 and expanding beyond our pharmacy-initiated solution, we have been working diligently to meet patients’ needs and improve our solution.
But it’s worth noting that our new workflow wasn’t conjured from thin air. About a year ago, ScriptDrop did try patient-initiated prescription delivery. We built out the product, developed branding – we even printed stickers! – and completed a pilot in our hometown of Grandview, Ohio. That pilot taught us some valuable lessons that helped us develop our current solution.
Lesson #1: Awareness
First we learned that while package and food delivery were well-known services, most people still weren’t aware that prescription delivery was available to them. Even though many pharmacies across the country offer delivery or at least 2-day shipping, people only thought of prescription delivery or shipping in connection with mail-order pharmacies promoted by their health insurer, or in connection with online pharmacies like Amazon’s PillPack.
Lesson #2: Recognition
Up until the pilot, ScriptDrop’s delivery solution was marketed to pharmacies, not consumers. Even our neighbors in Grandview, Ohio weren’t familiar with the ScriptDrop name. They weren’t sure if they could trust us. They inherently trusted their pharmacies, though, whether they were customers of a big chain or a small independent store. After all, pharmacists are the second most trusted profession in the country. If their pharmacists told them, “Hey, we offer delivery now,” patients would be more likely to give it a try.
Lesson #3: Integration
We confirmed of what we already knew: regardless of how we approached it, prescription delivery needed to involve the pharmacist. We wanted to empower pharmacists and healthcare providers, not disrupt them. It made more sense to focus on integrating with the pharmacy workflow rather than reaching out to patients directly.
Then the coronavirus hit the United States. Suddenly a lot changed.
As patients rushed to get 90-day fills of all their prescriptions, pharmacies kicked into high gear to process them. Americans from coast to coast were searching for delivery of everything: food, toilet paper, and yes, their prescriptions.
Our team realized that the people who use prescription delivery already – older adults, people with chronic illness, and people with disabilities – would need it more than ever, but so would a lot of other Americans. Large numbers of people might not be able to get to the pharmacy, either due to access or shelter-in-place orders.
That’s when we were faced with a choice. We could stick with our tried-and-true method of offering our delivery solution directly to pharmacies. Our impact would be limited. Or we could push ourselves beyond that, and let patients all over the country request delivery on their own. With pharmacies’ participation, we could potentially help a lot of patients get their medications and stay healthy through this crisis.
Stay with the safe option and help a smaller population? Or challenge ourselves and help an exponentially higher number of people?
We went with the challenge.
I won’t pretend it’s been easy. We’ve had to ask a lot of the team: to work weekends, to work extra hours, to learn on the fly, to invent and innovate on the fly. We’ve had to sequester ourselves in home offices and spend a lot of time in remote meetings. But the team has come through again and again.
We’ll be forever grateful to all our existing partners – and to the new ones. There are a lot of pharmacists, couriers, and especially patients who have taken a chance on a company they’d never heard of before. All of these people are helping us contribute to the health of others, be it through processing a delivery order at the pharmacy, delivering a package on time, or just waiting for their medication to appear on their doorstep.
If you’re a healthcare organization who would like to partner with us or learn more about our delivery solutions, click here for more information.
If you’re a driver who would like to work with our courier partners and get involved in prescription delivery, check out the form here.
If you’re a patient who would like to try our home delivery solution, text “DELIVER” to 727478 to get started, or get more information here.