Title: A continuous sampling approach to pharmacy operation efficiency study

Authors: Alex C. Lin, Samuel H. Huang

Addresses: College of Pharmacy, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 4522, USA. ' College of Engineering, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221, USA

Abstract: The service sector now makes up more than 70% of the US economy, yet its productivity growth is anaemic compared to that of manufacturing. This created a sense of urgency for efficiency improvement, especially in pharmacy operations due to a severe shortage of pharmacists. In pharmacy operations, it very difficult to apply the traditional time study approach in measuring efficiency. This paper uses a continuous sampling approach based on video recording technology to comprehensively measure pharmacy operation efficiency. The study was conducted at eight sites of a major community pharmacy. The results were analysed and opportunities for improvement were identified.

Keywords: pharmacy operations; performance efficiency; time study; fixed-interval sampling; continuous sampling; video recording; performance measurement; productivity analysis.

DOI: 10.1504/IJISE.2006.009060

International Journal of Industrial and Systems Engineering, 2006 Vol.1 No.1/2, pp.263 - 283

Published online: 21 Feb 2006 *

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