What is Pilbox?

Pilbox, short for Prescription in Locker Box, is a new facility that lets patients collect drug refills from secure lockers located outside the clinic at any time. Available at the recently upgraded SingHealth Polyclinics ‒ Marine Parade​ (Marine Parade Polyclinic), it is the first of its kind in Singapore.

By signing up for Pilbox, patients no longer need to queue 30 to 45 minutes at the pharmacy, relieving congestion there. They just schedule a date for collection, make payment at the kiosk next to the lockers, and retrieve their medicines from their designated lockers. The inspiration for Pilbox came from seeing how customers collect online purchases in e-commerce.

Ms Christina Lim, Pharmacy Mana​ger, SingHealth Polyclinics​ (SHP), who spearheaded the initiative, said that unlike those parcels, however, there can be no mistakes with medication. "The right package has to go to the right patient." Because patient safety is a top priority, Pilbox has two built-in rounds of authentication for depositing and collecting each prescription.

Another logistic challenge overcome was ensuring that medicines are stored at the right temperature and humidity conditions. Tests were done to locate hotspots in the lockers and safety measures put in. The lockers will shut down if temperature limits are breached. When Pilbox was launched, staff were on hand to help first timers and elderly patients learn to use the lockers. Positive feedback has encouraged SHP to consider extending the service to other polyclinics.

Marine Parade Polyclinic reopened in February after several months of upgrading work. Its size has doubled. It now has an additional storey, 28 service rooms (up from the previous 18), bigger waiting areas, x-ray services, and more age-friendly features such as low ramps, handrails, and large signs. Walk-in patients can now also call to fix appointments instead of queuing.

Ref: O17​​​