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Articles on Pharmacy Design

"Effects of Simulated Facility-Design Changes on Outpatient Efficiency", (c) Lin AC, Barker KN, Hassall T, American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 1988


The potential effects of using the Baker drug counter or the Systamodule pharmacy fixture, or both, on the efficiency of the current outpatient pharmacy system at the National Institutes of Health were evaluated by computer simulation. It was hypothesized that the use of these two devices would reduce (1) the prescription-filling time (RxFT) and (2) the distance traveled (DT) by pharmacists in filling individual prescriptions.

The sample used was 20% of two weeks' prescriptions, randomly selected. All theoretical estimations of RxFT were done by a computer program; DT was calculated based on measurements from the architect's schematic drawings. The effect of the application of the Baker drug counter alone, the Systamodule pharmacy fixture alone, and the Baker drug counter in combination with the Systamodule pharmacy fixture was to reduce the prescription-filling time by 0.123, 0.159, and 0.280 minutes per prescription, respectively.

The average DT per prescription, 102 feet, was identical in the current NIH pharmacy and with use of the Baker counter. It was reduced by 86.3% (to 14 feet) with use of the Systamodule feature, both alone and in combination with the Baker counter. The use of the Baker drug counter and the Systamodule together promises improved efficiency of the prescription dispensing operation.

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