Penn State Home Page Spotlight on Quality Improvement
More Information on CQI
Starting a CQI Initiative
Quality and Planning Events
CQI Programs
Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment
Improving Pharmacy ServicesUniversity Health Services, Student Affairs

The Challenge: Improving Services in a High Volume Pharmacy

The pharmacy at University Health Services fills 500-800 prescriptions a day. The staff works in a small area and, with no opportunity to increase space, increasing staff was not an option. Turnaround time, from the time a prescription was received to the time it was filled, was too high. Additionally, timely communication with customers was difficult.

The Solution: Online Communication and Robotic Filling of Prescriptions

University Health Services took a two-pronged approach to the challenge. First they used technology to increase the opportunities for patients to ask questions and submit prescriptions. Their customers can use their touchtone phones to request refills of prescriptions. The can also submit refill requests and ask prescription related questions online 24/7. Second, the pharmacy implemented an automated, robotic system to do the manual work of placing medication in bottles and preparing labels. The pharmacy staff verifies the contents afterward. This change reduced the time and increased the accuracy of filling prescriptions, as well as increasing staff satisfaction.

You can visit University Health Services Pharmacy online services at:

Barbara Gallagher
Barbara Gallagher, Chief Pharmacist

 "Communication is the essence of pharmacy"

Doris Guanowsky
Doris Guanowsky, Associate Director for Ancillary Services

 "Some of our problems were because of the high volume...."

   Doris Guanowsky
   Barbara Gallagher
   Karen Bayer

   Jonathan Borowski
   Linda Bowmaster
   Janet Eick
   Chet Evans
   Deb Fagan
   Patricia Grieb

   Bonnie Lose
   Libby Moyer
   Carol Nelson
   Danile Ottmar

© 2003. Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment   502 Rider II University Park, PA 16802-4819   (814) 863-8721   fax (814) 863-7031