By Senior Airman Stuart Bright
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Both the Main and Satellite pharmacies have received new kiosk system’s called Q-Flow to help eliminate the need for patients to physically stand in line while waiting for their prescriptions.
“The number one concern that we were seeing from our patients was having to stand in a physical line to drop off or pick-up their prescriptions,” said Maj. John Wu, 2nd Medical Group pharmacy flight commander. “A lot of our beneficiaries are older so we see them get tired or pass out, and in a couple of worst case scenarios we’ve had to call 911.”
There are 23 people assigned to work between the two pharmacies, who are all charged with delivering up to 700 re-fills and 800 new prescriptions a day. With all the prescriptions needing to be filled, it can take up to two hours or longer to deliver during peak times, according to Wu.
While the kiosk system was meant to eliminate standing in line, it was not meant to cut down on the time for a prescription to be filled and dispensed. This process still includes the need to accurately record pertinent medication related information, which can now be done at the kiosks instead of waiting to relay this information to pharmacy staff at the window. Q-Flow will also automatically generate a text to enabled devices when a prescription is ready for pick up or when there is a problem with a medication. Current wait times are also shown on the Q-Flow Information Center television screens.
“We are never going to sacrifice patient safety for decreased wait times,” Wu said. “We want to make sure the medications you are taking are safe, and will treat each prescription as if it were meant for one of our family members.”
Pharmacy staff have to make sure that each of the 250,000 medications that patients are taking each year are accurate and meet the rigorous pharmaceutical standards.
“We do understand the patients want to be heard,” said Senior Airman Victoria Cargill, 2nd Medical Support Squadron main pharmacy frontline supervisor. “We do hear the complaints, and genuinely want to address each one of them appropriately, with patient safety at the forefront.”
Barksdale leads the way in a DoD-wide effort to standardize patient queuing under the direction of the Defense Health Agency. The goal is create a seamless transition for DoD beneficiaries between different duty locations. If interested, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer through the Red Cross program inside both pharmacies for a better understanding on how the process works.
The new Q-Flow system saves patients time by allowing them to place their order and come back later. They no longer have to stand and wait.