Team-Tested Practices

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medication on a pharmacy shelf

Pharmacy professionals can shadow nurses to get insight into how and when medications are given to patients. This deeper understanding can help teams improve workflow, getting patients the drugs they need in a timely manner. 

Visit to Nursing Unit Yields Workflow Solution

Like rush-hour traffic, complaints about late or missing medication seemed inevitable for the Los Angeles Inpatient Pharmacy unit-based team. The department is responsible for delivering medication to hospital floors, where nurses prepare and dispense drugs to hundreds of patients every day. Things changed for the better when the pharmacy UBT decided to hear from the nurses directly. An inpatient pharmacist shadowed the nurses to identify the root causes behind their complaints. Now the team makes deliveries first thing in the morning to give nurses the time they need to prepare and dispense medication in a timely manner.

Here's What Worked

  • Taking “voice of the customer” training, which advocates direct input from clients to improve a process or service
  • Shadowing nurses to better understand their perspective and identify the root causes of complaints about late or missing medication
  • Starting the morning shift 30 minutes earlier to ensure timely delivery of medications

What can your team do to listen to the voice of your customers? Especially if those customers are fellow employees in a different department? 

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