Pharmacy management combined with the American journal of pharmacy: PM

Publications
The allocation of pharmacist labor cost to the prescription department is one of the most difficult problems in cost of dispensing calculations. Existing methods are reviewed, and a 'standard time' approach is suggested as an alternative. The standard time concept is defined, and a conceptual model of pharmacist time allocation to the prescription department (PDT) is proposed. The model is operationalized by selecting variables that are easily defined and measured as well as highly correlated with PDT. Data from a study of chain pharmacists are used to evaluate three testable models built upon the standard time concept. The most predictive model (R2=.46) included the following variables: average hourly prescription volume, sales level based upon average monthly prescription volume (log), number of pharmacists on duty (log), and the employment status (manager vs. staff) of the pharmacist (log). The model allocates some time to the prescription department even when volume is nearly zero, and the allocation gradually approaches 100% as prescription volume increases. The standard time approach has conceptual appeal and is supported by the empirical data used in this study. More extensive testing of the concept is necessary. Also, the existing model could benefit from testing with a more extensive data base. The latter should include a more diverse group of pharmacies and data on some variables that were not available for study in this analysis.
 
A survey questionnaire was developed to measure the levels of job and life satisfaction, role conflict, and role ambiguity among pharmacy practitioners. The job satisfaction components were measured by facet-specific and facet-free items in an attempt to separate global perceptions of one's job from specific components of the job. Graduates from 8 colleges of pharmacy were selected on the basis of the colleges' faculty impressions of the curricula. Questionnaires were mailed to 1060 pharmacy practitioners, out of which 741 usable responses were returned (70%). Satisfaction among pharmacists was not very high. The average response to questions dealing with general satisfaction was 3.03, S.D.=0.97, on a 5-point scale. Fifty-seven percent of the respondents indicated they would have second thoughts or definitely not go into pharmacy again. Fifty-four percent experienced role conflict, and 95% were confronted with role ambiguity. When the profession of pharmacy was compared to a general sample of workers, the pharmacy sample was less satisfied than the nonpharmacy group.
 
This work sampling study evaluated the immediate (six months) impact of the computer on community pharmacists' work patterns. Seven treatment group pharmacists who had contracted to become members of a time-sharing computer system were compared to a control group of five pharmacists who were matched with experimental pharmacists on the basis of type of pharmacy setting, geographic location, and estimated prescription volume. Observations were made before computerization and six months after introduction of the computer into the experimental pharmacies. Reorganization of work patterns after computerization was evident in this study, and the reorganization tended to center around interaction with the computer terminal. After categorizing pharmacists' activities as 'technical tasks' and 'professional tasks' based on the Report of Task Force on the Roles of the Practitioner of Pharmacy and the Subprofessional in Pharmacy, changes in pharmacist activities were examined further. It was found that although pharmacists in this study delegated certain technical tasks to the computer, there was not corresponding increase in professional activities.
 
One of the foremost concerns of any third-party drug program is the need to contain costs. changes in drug ndrug utilization are to be expected, since the economic barrier to purchase will be modified or removed. Program administrators are faced with a number of built-in factors which tend to increase utilization and, therefore, costs. They must attempt to moderate utilization as well as to keep the cost per unit reasonable in order to control overall program costs while providing necessary benefits. This goal is not an easy task. This article briefly reviews the major types of cost control mechanisms employed today.
 
This paper presents evidence which suggests that therapeutic standards exist to justify inclusion of selected over the counter (OTC) preparations in a drug benefits program. Toward that end, 21 products are identified tentatively as satisfying that objective. If these recommendations are accepted by third-party programs, quality assurance efforts should be more effective because they can be implemented within the context of a comprehensive data base.
 
The purpose of this study is to measure the retail pharmacist's perception of the services offered by his primary drug wholesalers. A 'service relevancy matrix' is developed to guide drug wholesalers in examining and modifying their present customer service programs. The results of this study, based on a survey of Ohio and Kentucky pharmacists, indicate that: Independent phararmacists, in general, are satisfied with the services provided by drug wholesalers in Ohio and Kentucky. Drug wholesalers are most 'responsive' to the needs of independent pharmacists with regard to availability of a variety of both prescription and up-front merchandise, daily delivery service, pick-up of return merchandise, and other services related to the merchandising dimension of the wholesaler's strategy. A large proportion of customer services provided by drug wholesalers are 'marginal' or 'unvalued', as classified by the 'service relevancy matrix'. The role of the wholesaler's representative as a management consultant is seriously questioned by the pharmacist. The need for better communication between the drug wholesaler and the independent pharmacist is emphasized. The wholesaler's involvement in the development of educational and training programs for the pharmacist and the wholesaler's representative is suggested. Finally, the use of the 'service relevancy matrix' by drug wholesalers is recommended to evaluate their customer service programs.
 
Top-cited authors
Charles Hepler
  • University of Florida
Joseph L. Fink III
  • University of Kentucky