Fall 2013


App feature that allows users to track the status of their prescription
  • Communicate pharmacies
  • User friendly interface
  • Provide real time information as to what exactly is happening e.g. Domino's pizza tracker
  • Sends notifications via e-mail, text, and through app
  • Work with Publix to be able to interactively check on prescription

Contact Information:

Phone Number
Melissa Ehster
Derek Carraway
Trang Huynh
Gordon Lyn
Alexander Gelvez

RX Tracker

Problem Statement:

The problem being addressed is communication between doctors, pharmacies, and patients regarding the status of prescriptions. This is due to a lack of practical technology being used to communicate information to patients in varied and informative formats. The current technology in place does not possess features that can provide up to date information about the status of a patient’s prescription easily from any location or device.


In some instances, there is little to no communication between the doctor and the pharmacy. The consequence of this is that patients may not be aware that their prescriptions have not been filled or what the estimated time is for when their prescription will be ready.
Video example -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rI9ynfljOLQ

In the video, a customer complains about receiving updates from the automated voice call system from CVS too frequently. Now, he will start filling his prescription at another location.
Currently most major pharmacies use automated response systems. For example, CVS uses a system of automated phone calls and text messages which is all managed and maintained internally by CVS. Publix uses an interactive voice response system that is outsourced to another company, McKesson. A patient never gets the opportunity to have a visual representation of the prescription filling process or the steps that are involved.

These automated systems do not contain any information other than a prescription in your name has been filled. They do not include the name of the prescription, how many refills you have left, or if they are still holding the prescription. This last point is important because in some cases people cannot come right away to pick up their prescription. If this is the case and they show up a day or two after receiving the call they run the risk of the pharmacy no longer carrying their prescription. A patient may receive a call once a day or they may receive multiple calls in one hour and even in some cases no calls for more than a day. The systems currently being used should have customization options such as how frequently the patient would like to receive notifications and whether they prefer to receive them by phone call or text message.

There are apps available on the market place that manage and track prescriptions. These apps such as MedHelper and RxmindMe are focused solely on the user end of the prescription process. These remind users when to take their prescriptions and when they need to be refilled. However, they do not offer a bridge for the interaction between patients and the pharmacy.

Potential solutions:

  • A universal system that is standardized by the government to be used by all pharmacies for seamless communication.
  • Universal system that can easily be integrated and compatible into separate pharmacy systems.
  • Integrate the current solutions (text messaging, phone calls) into the new system so that phone notifications can still be used.
  • Create a status tracker that receives information from multiple pharmacies to give the customer updates on when their prescriptions will be ready.
    • Customizable email and text updates for every complete step
  • Create a website application (that can also be viewed on a mobile device) that works as an alert for patient’s prescription status.
  • Create some sort of log system that would record when a doctor has called in a prescription, when the pharmacy received it, and a timestamp for both. This would ensure both parties did what they were supposed to do when they were supposed to do it.

Research on existing/alternate solutions tried by others:

Mckesson Enterprise Systems
CVS uses an internal system

Feasibility of each solution:

Calling the patient every time something happens with the prescription would only take a few minutes for the clinics, but the process of alerting the patient through phone may take a while for drug stores. Drug stores often have hundreds of prescriptions to fill every day, so it would utilize too much time. In other words, it wouldn't be a very efficient way to conduct their business. The most ideal and complete solution would be to create a universal application/website that has the ability to pull the prescription information from all nationwide pharmacies. But that would a huge project to undertake that would need a multi-million dollar budget and multiple years to complete. Majority of the potential solutions would take a huge amount of time and effort to accomplish. Which many companies may not see any benefit or added value by developing these solutions. When a pharmacy is deciding which solution to develop, they may not want to invest a lot of time or money.

Chosen approach (and reasons):

Currently the most feasible solution would be to slowly add the status tracking features to different pharmacies' mobile applications or website, this could be accomplished with a small budget and project team. Choosing to add features to existing mobile apps with the existing infrastructure shouldn't be too complicated with the incorporation of new features into the application. These updated application features will contain more detailed information about the status of a patient's prescription rather than just a simple notice that it has been filled. The user will be able to choose how they will receive notifications and how often they would like to receive them, this saves time and results in less confusion.

Timeline for completion:

9/12/2013 R - Project topic due, Outline 2 page paper
9/16/2013 M - Meeting to work on 2 page paper
9/20/2013 M - Meeting Scheduled
9/23/2013 M - Meeting to finalize 2 page paper
9/26/2013 R - 2 page paper due
9/30/2013 M - Meeting Scheduled
10/07/2013 M - Meeting Scheduled
10/14/2013 M - Meeting Scheduled
10/17/2013 R - NO CLASS/Working on projects
10/21/2013 M - Meeting Scheduled
10/28/2013 M - Meeting Scheduled
11/07/2013 R- Project Prototype Due
11/21/2013 R - Project Due

Team workload and roles:

The workload is evenly distributed and each group member assumes the same role. All group members will be held accountable for the project as a whole. Group members aren't given specific roles, whenever we meet we will all work on the project together as a team.

Alex : Made phone calls to various pharmacies. Citations. Presentation slides.

Derek : Login and registration prototype page.

Gordon : Research. Rating prototype page. Revisions.

Melissa : Prototype descriptions. Evidence.

Trang : Added Youtube video. Out of stock and notifications prototype page. Meeting Minutes. Timeline. Revisions.

As a group: Feasibility, chosen approach and reasons, potential solutions, problem statement

Meeting minutes:

September 12, 2013 R
A meeting was held in the top floor of the union at 11:00 AM.
Present: Melissa, Derek, Gordon, Trang
  • What we got accomplished: Paper was outline by members as ideas and the topic was discussed.
  • A Google document was created to facilitate the communication between members.
  • TA was contacts for help regarding various resources that could be used

September 16, 2013 M
A meeting was held in the Health Informatics building 2029 at 1:30 PM.
Present: Alex, Melissa, Derek, Gordon, Trang
  • Called different pharmacies to ask about systems that were used to send out notifications about prescriptions
  • Assigned various group roles
  • Worked on the paper

September 25, 2013 W
There was a small meet-up held in the Health Informatics building 2029 at 11:00 AM.
Present: Gordon, Trang
  • Update the group Wikia
  • Fine-tuned the two-page paper

October 16, 2013 W
A meeting was held in the Health Informatics building 2029 at 11:00 AM.
Present: Alex, Melissa, Derek, Gordon, Trang
  • Discussed ideas for the prototype
    • Decided on creating a mock website and mock mobile applications
  • Worried about the presentation

October 30, 2013 W
A meeting was held in the Health Informatics building 2029 at 11:00 AM
Present: Melissa, Derek, Gordon, Trang
  • Edited the group Wikia
  • Worked on prototype for the mobile application
  • Discussed on further additions to the project

November 6, 2013 W
A meeting was held in the Health Informatics building 2029 at 11:00 AM
Present: Melissa, Derek, Gordon, Trang
  • Edited the group Wikia
  • Completed the prototype for the mobile application
  • Decided against the addition of a mock website

November 21, 2013 R
A meeting was held in the Health Informatics building 2029 at 11:00 AM
Present: Alex, Melissa, Derek, Gordon, Trang
  • Completed the group Wikia
  • Determine roles for each member in the presentation

Objectives and Goals:

The goal is to implement status tracking features in each pharmacy's web portal or mobile app that can provide updates about the status of a patient’s prescription order. Starting with Publix then moving forward with adding these features to other pharmacies depending on how satisfied users are with their experience. The user should be able to effectively track the status of their prescription in an easy to use format without much difficulty. We want to ensure that the features being implemented satisfy all of the users needs for tracking their prescription.

Prototype/Final Solution:

external image ss_pharmacy.jpg

Current Publix app. This application allows users to scan prescription bar codes and submit them for refills. However it is rather limited in its scope. Here we have taken the application Publix has and added some additional features which allow the user to get more information on the status of their prescription.

Presciription aOeijfo.png

This is a demonstration of the status tracker. It has a strong visual component which is more intuitive to most users. It makes staying informed easy and quick. The user is kept up to date on each step of their prescription. There is also a comment section to leave feedback for the pharmacy. This is a chance for them to collect more data about their performance and user satisfaction.


This allows the user to set their preferences about what type of notifications they would like. This allows for continued use of current automated systems.

Walgreens Template.png

Here we have added a page that would appear when your prescription has been submitted to the pharmacy. Occasionally the prescription is not available and it is important to notify the user of this.


A standard login procedure would be used in order to protect the users information and allow them to access the status of their prescription at any time.



Next Steps:

First, set up a meeting with Publix representatives to discuss the integration of our features into their mobile application. Our team wants to integrate the RX Status Tracker mobile app into Publix's current applications two beta test the prototype. This will ensure a quality output that is user-friendly. After testing the integration of the features into the application make the necessary changes and revisions to finalize an update for the application that can be made public to current users so they can make use of the new features. Once these features have been used for a couple of weeks or months, attempt to get feedback from users to decide what improvements need to be made and if it is possible to move forward trying to integrate these same features into another pharmacy's mobile application. If Publix does not like or accept our new application idea, we will ask for feedback and edit the application so it appeals to their ideal requirements.
We will start with Publix, and based on good reviews, we will branch out to other pharmacies.


"Publix Mobile." Publix Mobile. Ed. Publix Asset Management Company. Publix Super Markets, Inc., 2102. Web. 30 Oct. 2013. <http://www.publix.com/Mobile.do>.

QuickRick19. "CVS Pharmacy's New Annoying Refill Program DSCF2263." YouTube. YouTube, 12 Oct. 2009. Web. 30 Oct. 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rI9ynfljOLQ>.