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5PSQ-118 Non-active prescriptions in ambulatory patients: analysis and effect in consultation waiting time
  1. S Fernández Lastras,
  2. I De La Fuente Villaverde,
  3. C Orallo Luna,
  4. M Eiroa Osoro,
  5. L Oyague López,
  6. C Rodríguez-Tenreiro Rodríguez,
  7. M Muñoz Villasur,
  8. C Fadón Herrera,
  9. C Díaz Romero,
  10. A Lozano Blazquez
  1. Hospital Universitario Central De Asturias, Pharmacy Service, Oviedo, Spain


Background and Importance The optimisation of time within the Hospital Outpatient Pharmacy has become an urgent challenge in light of the remarkable surge in activity over recent years. A substantial number of patients arrive without an active prescription, rendering it impossible to dispense their medications promptly, consequently resulting in consultation delays and patient inconvenience.

Aim and Objectives The primary aim of this study is to delineate the chief causes of non-active prescriptions at the point of dispensation and to assess their impact on patient waiting times when attending the Hospital Outpatient Pharmacy.

Material and Methods Between January 2022 and September 2023, we conducted a prospective registration of patients lacking active prescriptions and subsequently selected a random sample for analysis. This investigation encompassed an assessment of the clinical service to which patients were affiliated, the reasons underpinning prescription unavailability, and the temporal discrepancy between the scheduled appointment time and the actual consultation conclusion time. It is essential to emphasise that we considered the appointment time as the moment of consultation entry, assuming zero delays. Data were meticulously gathered from the electronic prescribing software.

Results Our study encompassed a cohort of 81 patients. Among the patients who presented with non-active prescriptions, the implicated Clinical Services comprised Nephrology (21.0%), Rheumatology (21.0%), Neurology (16.0%), Pulmonology (11.1%), Internal Medicine (9.9%), Urology (7.4%), Dermatology (3.7%), Gastroenterology (3.7%), Endocrinology and Nutrition (2.5%), Allergy (1.2%), Haematology (1.2%), and Paediatrics (1.2%).

The rationales behind non-active prescriptions were multifarious: failure to renew prescriptions during the previous consultation (63.0%), prescriptions with inadequate validity until the subsequent consultation (21.0%), prescription errors (8.6%), patient non-attendance at the preceding consultation (4.9%), absence of a patient consultation within the last year (1.2%), and rescheduling of the previous consultation (1.2%).

Within our sampled cohort, the median consultation waiting time amounted to 36 minutes, with an extreme delay reaching up to 3 hours.

Conclusion and Relevance As evidenced by this investigation, the absence of an active prescription at the dispensation juncture exerts an adverse influence on the day-to-day operations of the Hospital Outpatient Pharmacy. It is our assertion that enhanced training and more robust communication with the implicated clinical services could prove invaluable in proactively addressing this predicament.

Conflict of Interest No conflict of interest.

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