Why CVS pharmacy texts its customers: 3 insights from CIO Stephen J. Gold

Stephen J. Gold, CIO of CVS Health Corp., spoke with The Wall Street Journal about how the company uses text messages to alert customers about prescription refills.

Here are three insights he shared.

1. About 28 million people use text messages for their prescription pickups and refills, representing roughly 30 percent of CVS pharmacy's customer base. CVS alerts these customers using its refill reminder programs, which enable the company to monitor the last time an individual filled a prescription as well as how frequently it's refilled, based on health plan and compliance rules.

2. These email or text alerts reminding customers about their prescription refills have been becoming more sophisticated. CVS is now able to "geotarget" text messages for inclement weather, for example, to let a customer know they may need to refill a prescription earlier than usual because of a potential storm.

3. CVS also uses customer data to improve medication adherence. The company's health-engagement engine can monitor customer behavior and deploy appropriate interventions; for example, its system can identify whether a diabetes patient has received a blood-glucose test, and if not, send a message encouraging them to visit a pharmacy or clinic to complete it.

Click here to view the full Q&A.

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