OBJECTIVES To register the time required for the procedures involved in dispensing an e-prescription and its frequency, to assess the direct costs of the procedures, to describe the negative results associated with medicine detected, to define the time structure of a “dispensing type” model and to value the use of the information that the e-prescription system provides for dispensing medicine.
METHODS A detailed analysis was carried out on the procedure for dispensing the e-prescription, dividing it into processes and sub processes (operational, support and pharmaceutical attention). A template for compiling data was designed which was handed over with instructions to participating community pharmacists. For the weighted calculation of time and costs an empiric model was used based on Information Technologies quality management systems (ISO 20000).
RESULTS 27 pharmacists from 7 chemists participated, who dispensed 712 medicines with 1,993 e-prescriptions. The average weighted times per prescription were 58.2 sec in pensioners and 72.6 sec in workers. The average cost of dispensing the recipe of a pensioner is 4.3 and 5.4 for workers. Not dispensing an e-prescription involves a cost of 0.5. The process of cutting and sticking the barcodes on to a piece of paper costs 0.23 per prescription. The theoretical “professional dispensing type” model has a duration of 250 sec. 29 possible negative results associated with medicine were detected, of which 5 were need, 1 was effectiveness and 23 involved safety.
DISCUSSION Independently of the operational and bureaucratic complexity of the procedure for dispensing an electronic prescription, the community pharmacist obtains very little information from it for suitable professional action.