Background An extension to the Mater Campus Hospital Development was anticipated to represent considerable logistical and functional difficulties for the delivery of drugs from one central Pharmacy site. It was proposed that a prospective study be conducted to identify areas of inefficiency in the current requisitions delivery schedule and determine how best to maximise efficiency and facilitate service expansion.
To identify areas of inefficiency in the current requisitions delivery schedule from the MMUH Pharmacy dispensary to wards.
To explore the needs and expectations of clinical pharmacists with respect to the current and future scheduling and delivery to identify key areas of concern for impact on clinical pharmacy service.
Materials and methods A triangulated method was used to investigate the scheduling, personnel and workload components of the schedule of requisitios deliveries and their effect on the efficiency of medicines delivery. This incorporated direct structured observation of the delivery schedule, quantification of pharmacy ward requisitions using queuing theory and a census of clinical pharmacists with an anonymous structured questionnaire.
Results Statistically significant variation (p < 0.001) was identified when deliveries were categorised according to scheduled delivery time and destination. Differences between peak delivery times and other deliveries demonstrated inefficient operation. Queuing theory enabled baseline operating characteristics to be derived. Fluctuations in operating characteristics on the basis of staff numbers were also identified. Clinical pharmacists were generally satisfied or very satisfied with the current delivery times but the inability to guarantee times of drug deliveries was the biggest perceived problem with the delivery schedule.
Conclusions This investigation successfully identified inefficiencies within scheduled Pharmacy deliveries. The cumulative findings identified that improvement in productive efficiency can be achieved without additional resources. Recommendations to enhance efficiency were made, providing for the development of evidence-based solutions to the logistical and functional problem of hospital expansion.
No conflict of interest.
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