Title

Reducing pharmacy patient waiting time

Document Type

Article

Department

Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Abstract

Purpose: Pharmacy services start right from prescribing medicines and continue as the medication's effect is monitored. Hospital and community pharmacy staff promote rational prescribing and medicine use. Consequentially, pharmacy is a complex and busy field. Often there are peak workload hours when patients must wait, which is associated with patient dissatisfaction that may negatively affect patient experience and the organisation's reputation. The purpose of this paper is to enlist techniques, methods and technological advancements that have been successfully employed to reduce patient waiting time.
Design/Methodology/Approach: A database search was conducted in 2017 to locate articles addressing methods and technologies that reduce pharmacy waiting time. The literature revealed various techniques and technologies like queuing theory, tele-pharmacy, evidence-based pharmacy design, automated pharmacy systems (robotics), system modelling and simulation and the Six Sigma method for identifying potential problems associated with increased wait time.
Findings: The authors conclude that various techniques and methods, including automated queuing technology, tele-pharmacy, automated pharmacy devices/machines for quick and accurate filling and dispensing, computer simulation modelling, evidence-based pharmacy infrastructure for smooth workflow and Six Sigma can maintain customer satisfaction, reduce waiting time, attract new customers, decrease workload and improve the organisation's reputation.
Practical Implications: The authors conclude that various techniques and methods, including automated queuing technology, tele-pharmacy, automated pharmacy devices/machines for quick and accurate filling and dispensing, computer simulation modelling, evidence-based pharmacy infrastructure for smooth workflow and Six Sigma methodology can maintain customer satisfaction, reduce waiting time, attract new customers, decrease workload and improve the organisation's reputation.
Originality/Value: The authors carried out a literature search and identified the techniques that have been successfully implemented to reduce pharmacy patient waiting time and methods that can identify potential process behind medication dispensation delays.

Publication

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

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