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Top Tip For Prescription Admin


My name is Karen Lawrence and I am a Locum Dispenser, mainly working in Dispensing Doctor Practices.

I visit many practices in my role and see different ways of working within a Dispensary. I hope to give worthwhile dispensing tips in the Gazette.

A real bone of contention is the storage of dispensed items waiting for collection. I have spent many frustrating minutes searching through, boxes, baskets, shelves and other recepticles used for storage. The patient growing more impatient and me asking for an extra pair of eyes to search for Mr Jones or Mrs Smith’s medication. Most embarrassing and the precious dispensing time is ticking past.

A simple system is a system of numbered or lettered storage:

1. Dispensed items are bagged and a bag/address label stuck to the outside of the bag. Relevant number of the box/basket/shelf or other storage receptacle is then written on to the bag/address label. Bagged items are then placed in the correctly numbered receptacles. E.g.: Box/basket 1. Number 1 is written in the top left hand corner of the prescription.

2. Prescriptions are then filed in alphabetical order in a small file box with cards with letters of the alphabet on the front of the cards. In effect Mr Smith would be filed at the rear of the card marked with the letter S

3. Collection Dispenser requests the patient’s surname and first name looks at the relevant letter card in the stored paper prescriptions, takes prescription out. Looks at the letter or number on the top left-hand corner of the prescription and takes out the dispensed medication from the relevant numbered or lettered storage facility.

Having worked on the borders of Herefordshire and Wales it is no joke searching for Jones and Evans, when the storage is in alphabetical order. The above tips offer a much easier solution, I was cynical when I first came across the system, but believe me it works!