When should pharmacists visit their wards? An application of simulation to planning hospital pharmacy services
Source: Health Care Management Science, Volume 2, Number 1, 1999 , pp. 35-42(8)
Abstract:This paper reports a pilot study of the use of simulation in planning hospital pharmacy services. The objectives were to create a simulation model of the hospital drug distribution system, to use the model to investigate a simple problem and to assess the potential for simulation to aid decision making in hospital pharmacy management. The problem chosen for investigation focused on the UK ward pharmacy system, where a pharmacist visits each ward daily to initiate the supply of newly prescribed non-stock medication. A simulation model was used to investigate how changing the time of the ward pharmacist’s visit could affect the mean time delay between the prescription of a non-stock drug and the arrival of that drug on the ward. The simulation results suggest that the time of day at which pharmacists visit their wards can have a major impact on delay times, and that the relative benefit of different visit times is likely to vary between wards. Simulation was found to be a useful approach to investigating different service alternatives without the expense and disruption of assessing each in practice.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: 1: Centre for Pharmacy Practice, The School of Pharmacy, London University, London WC1N 1AX, UK E-mail: email@example.com 2: Department of Decision Sciences, London Business School, London, UK 3: Clinical Operational Research Unit, Department of Mathematics, University College London, London, UK
Publication date: 1999-01-01