CVS Pharmacy is helping consumers get a better handle on how to manage the day-to-day administrative tasks that can make the healthcare experience either more frustrating or seamless. As discussed in Internet Health Management, the CVS mobile app makes it easier for its 41 million users to manage their health through functions such as refilling medications.

Brian Tilzer, chief digital officer for the 9,700-store CVS network, told Internet Health Management, “Mobile devices have completely changed the way we manage our lives – and that includes how we manage our health . . . We will continue to focus on developing new tools that help our customers find easier and better ways to manage their health: whether that be at our stores, in our pharmacies or at their homes.”

For many consumers, the daily reality of managing health means standing in long lines waiting for prescriptions to be refilled. CVS has been improving that experience by enriching its mobile app with functions that, while hardly glamorous, are important – such as being able to refill a prescription and pay for it from the app, as well as adding health savings account data to their cards.

Especially as healthcare providers shift their focus to wellness care, more efficient mobile functions such as pharmacy management become essential the patient experience. Similarly, Walmart recently improved its app to make it possible for customers to skip pharmacy lines and pay for their refills.

A couple of other details from the Internet Health Management article jump out at me:

  • A better customer experience at CVS goes beyond the app. CVS is changing the entire experience at select stores to provide “health-focused formats,” including 100 more feet for health-related products and healthier foods such as gluten-free products.
  • CVS talks about itself as a healthcare brand. Tilzer told Internet Health Management, “We’re bringing our deep expertise in health services into our aisles to help our customers discover better choices, and we’re expanding the type of care we provide through our Minute Clinics and our new eye and ear centers, so our customers can come to us not just when they’re sick, but when they want to stay healthy.”

Health and wellness has been called the next trillion dollar industry, and everyone wants a piece of it, including healthcare systems and pharmacies. As I have mentioned on the SIM Partners blog, the changing industry has given rise to some interesting partnerships. CVS shows how partners in the healthcare ecosystem are changing from within, too.