Don't Use the Pharmacy Drive-Thru

A recent article on Science Daily.com reported on a study which revealed that  pharmacists who work at pharmacies with drive-thru service windows feel that the drive-thru causes distractions that may lead to delays and dispensing errors. 

The pharmacists’ beliefs about the impact drive-thrus have on the quality of delivery of service was studied by a professor or pharmacy practice and administration at Ohio State University.  The pharmacists were asked to complete a  detailed questionnaire which sought their opinions about how their work-flow was impacted by such things as the pharmacies’ physcial layout, whether there was a drive-thru on site and whether there was an automated dispensing system. Overwhelmingly, the pharmacists responded that the presence of a drive-thru window was the most problematic aspect of their practices because it placed a lot of pressure on the pharmacy staff to multi-task leading to potential dispensing errors, delay and reduced efficiency. The pharmacists involved in the study made some suggestions on how to remedy the problem posed by the drive-thru– automated dispensing systems that count tablets or  are linked to the pharmacy computer system enabling them to complete the entire dispensing process. Automated dispensing systems are typically used for medications that are in particularly high demand, such as antibiotics, blood pressure medications and painkillers.

The survey results cited by Science Daily.com were published in a recent issue of the International Journal for Quality in Health Care. Szeinbach co-authored the study with Enrique Seoane-Vazquez and graduate students Ashish Parekh and Michelle Herderick, all of Ohio State’s College of Pharmacy.

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