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5S management improves the service quality in the outpatient-emergency pharmacy: from management process optimisation to staff capacity enhancement


Objective As a high-efficiency demanding department in a hospital, the outpatient pharmacy has a great need for quality improvement to provide superior medical service for patients. Little is known about the application of 5S management in a hospital pharmacy department. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impacts of 5S management on pharmaceutical service quality and staff capacity in the outpatient-emergency pharmacy.

Methods We carried out a 5S project in the outpatient-emergency pharmacy at a local hospital that involved processes including waste elimination, workplace standardisation, and optimisation of workflow and staff quality, and then evaluated the effects of the project.

Results The equipment and items in the outpatient-emergency pharmacy were sorted. All the drugs were categorised and put in order. The redesigned workspace and standardised workflow during the project improved the accuracy and efficiency of drug dispensing. The satisfaction rate of patients regarding the pharmaceutical service quality in the outpatient-emergency pharmacy was elevated, as well as the satisfaction rate of pharmacists about their work experiences. The optimisation of objective conditions also stimulated a positive working attitude and professional ability promotion of pharmacists in the outpatient-emergency pharmacy.

Conclusions In this study, the 5S management method has proven useful for quality and efficiency improvement in the outpatient-emergency pharmacy, and could be generalised to other departments in a hospital, which provides further evidence of the advantages of the Lean tool in healthcare system management.

  • Quality of Health Care
  • Staff Development
  • Safety

Data availability statement

All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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