Pretty soon the iPad could be a pharmacy mainstay, helping pharmacists supply patients with the most up-to-date, thorough care, reports Drug Store News.Walgreens recently announced it was giving pharmacists working at its 20 pilot stores in Chicago the Apple tablets. This would allow the pharmacists to instantly access customers’ medical records, Walgreens prescription history, and other medical records that available for veterans or government employees.
“The concept is meant to create a pharmacy and health care ‘help desk’ where customers get solutions or referrals for their personal health questions,” said Walgreens Chief Innovation Officer Colin Watts told the Chicago Sun-Times, which covered the program’s launch in 16 Chicago-area stores.
It also streamlines operations, boosting customer service, he said.
But is Walgreens lagging behind? Rival Rite Aid, often seen as an also-ran when compared with competitors Walgreens and CVS, piloted a similar (though less comprehensive) idea at a prototype store over the summer. At Rite Aid, an adviser with an iPad was on hand to share information on vitamins and over-the-counter medication with curious customers.
And at a pharmacy in California dating back to last year, a pharmacist who specialises in technology integration blogged about his colleagues integrating iPads into their work.
So are iPads important to the future of customer service? Companies now seem to be figuring that out. Best Buy, rumoured last spring to be planning to outfit each sales associate with an iPad, says it’s providing a few to each of its stores to understand how the device fits with customer service.
Of course, Apple already has built its own sales techniques around the technology it pioneered. Products displayed in Apple stores each have a complementary iPad that introduces customers to that product’s features.
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