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Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
Pharmacotherapy Group, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria
ISSN: 1596-5996
EISSN: 1596-5996
Vol. 2, No. 2, 2003, pp. 207-214
Bioline Code: pr03012
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, Vol. 2, No. 2, 2003, pp. 207-214

 en Patients' response to waiting time in an out-patient pharmacy in Nigeria
Margaret O Afolabi and Wilson O Erhun


Purpose: To identify the dispensing procedure at a pharmacy, investigate the possible operational problems that may lead to excessive patient waiting times as prescriptions are filled and to examine patient disposition to perceived delays at the pharmacy.
Methods: The study was carried out in a 574-bed university teaching hospital in Ile - Ife, Nigeria. The subjects were out-patients who gave their consent to participate in the study. Data were collected using the techniques of workflow analysis and time study in observing the dispensing process. A validated questionnaire was administered on the out-patients to measure their responses to waiting in the pharmacy as well as their level of satisfaction with pharmaceutical services rendered.
Results: The workflow analysis revealed considerable delay in the dispensing procedure as a result of extended process components. The total waiting time for a dispensing process averaged 17.09 min, and 89.5% of this was due to delay components. Specifically, the major delay components included patient queues for billing prescription sheets and subsequent payment to the cashier. Operational problems identified included patients' indirect access to dispensing pharmacist and the tortuous procedure for prescription billing and payments. Generally, patients were not satisfied with undue delay caused by the dispensing procedure at the pharmacy.
Conclusion: Most of the patient waiting time in the hospital studied can be accounted for by delay components of the dispensing procedure. Attempts should therefore be made to reduce the time on these components of the dispensing process so that more time could be devoted to counseling while reducing the total time spent by the patient in having their prescriptions sheets filled.

Dispensing process; hospital pharmacy; pharmaceutical service; waiting time

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