We asked Alex Potter, Director of Digital Strategy all about the aquisition of Co-op Health and the rebrand to Hey Pharmacist.
As you will likely be aware, PHOENIX have acquired Co-op Health as part of our ongoing commitment to developing our digital offering for you, our members.
Over the coming months we will be working to evolve the app into a solution that offers you the platform you need to compete with online pharmacies without breaking the link between you and your patients.
Those of you who were in attendance at the Numark Conference will have seen the reveal of the new ‘Hey Pharmacist’ branding alongside a preview of our plans for the app from Alex Potter, our Director of Digital Strategy, who was an integral part of the acquisition of Co-op Health and will be a fundamental part of its ongoing development.
With this in mind, we caught up with Alex to ask him a few questions around the app and what the future holds.
What is the product?
“Co-op Health is a repeat prescription app, with a few key differences to standard pharmacy apps. Firstly, it is connected to 99.5% of GP surgeries, so when a patient places an order, it is an approved repeat prescription that goes directly into the GPs work queue.
“Secondly, patients can securely connect to their GP at home via NHS Login, so there is no need for them to go to their GP and get linkage keys or passcodes.
“Finally, the app enables patients to choose to collect their repeat prescription from any pharmacy in England by setting their pharmacy nomination for them.”
Why did PHOENIX purchase it?
“Co-op Health is a great product that customers love, you only have to look at their app ratings and customer comments to see that it is a quality product.
“It has also seen phenomenal growth in the last 12 months, moving well into the top 10 pharmacies by volume. Working well for customers, coupled with the ability for the technology to send prescription orders to any pharmacy in England means that it is a good fit for the PHOENIX community pharmacy strategy.”
Why are you excited about it?
“I am really excited about the branding, and the potential of this product. We have a bold ambition, to connect digital with community pharmacy and bring the value of both to customers. No one else is doing this.
"The ‘Hey Pharmacist’ brand will really stand out, and it fits perfectly with the PHOENIX strategy of championing community pharmacy. It is going to be a really exciting product to work on, and I can’t wait to bring it to life.”
What is the plan short term and long term?
“In the short term, we have the basics to get right, we need to rebrand the app and migrate the technology from the Co-op group.
“We’ll adjust the basic customer journeys so that Numark members will become prominent collection options for patients. We are also looking at allowing members to sign up their customers to their pharmacy directly, giving them an instant digital ordering option.
“Once we have got this right we will move on to creating a pharmacy interface within the app, allowing members to send customer notifications as well as offering delivery options. The longer term plan is to evolve the product from a prescription app into a pharmacy app and then into a health app centred on pharmacy.”
Where does Smart Pharmacy fit into the plan?
“Smart Pharmacy has been built for existing Patient Access users, with about 3.4 million repeat prescription users this is a significant channel for community pharmacy to help maximise your potential nominations.
“We see the two products working side by side, helping members grow, as well as protecting their existing customer base from moving to digital pharmacies.”