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Pagers keep patients in touch with prescription progress at Frimley Park pharmacy

Pagers keep patients in touch with prescription progress at Frimley Park pharmacy

[Frimley, UK/ Implementations] - The pharmacy at Frimley Park Hospital Foundation Trust has invested in a set of pagers to solve the problem of a small waiting area and allow patients to be alerted when their prescriptions are ready.

The pharmacy has 20 pagers that sit in a charging rack. If a patient does not want to wait at the pharmacy, a staff member demonstrates how to use the pager and hands it to the patient. To request a patient to return, a member of staff simply presses the hash button with the pager′s number on the transmitter station′s keypad. The patient returns to the pharmacy, gives back the pager and a staff member replaces it in the charging rack.

A maximum 20-minute turnaround for customers

“We target a maximum 20-minute turnaround for our customers, but this is a long time, especially in a relatively small waiting area. Our waiting room only has seating for about 20 people; if we have any more waiting, some have to stand while they wait for their prescriptions, which is clearly far from ideal,” said Sue Horne, Dispensary Manager at Frimley Park. “By the time they arrive at the Pharmacy, they really don′t want to be hanging around anymore. The pagers allow patients to leave the department, attend other areas for treatment, or simply to relax while they wait for their prescriptions.”

One of the issues for the pharmacy is that very often it is the end of the line. The patient may already have had a long wait for the original consultation in the out-patients department, followed by other procedures such as a blood test or X-ray. So the main motivation behind using the pagers was to improve ‘customer experience′. A  recent survey of patients using the pagers gave a 100% positive feedback. “The system is simply a really useful tool, so much so, that I′ve recommended it to other outpatient departments in the hospital. It just keeps patients happier,” added Sue Horne. [hw][Photo: Pharmacy supervisor, Maureen Tucker handing a pager to hospital patient Andy Mitchener]

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