First drive-through pharmacy services in Taiwan

Yuh Feng Lin, You Meei Lin, Li Huei Sheng, Hsiu Yu Chien, Tian Jong Chang, Cai Mei Zheng, Hsi Peng Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Taiwan has separated drug prescribing and drug dispensing services since 1997. Because of this, patients with chronic illness as well as those with diseases that have a relatively stable status may have their prescriptions refilled in nearby clinic pharmacies without having to go to hospitals. Methods: Shuang-Ho Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan, implemented a drive-through pharmacy service as a more convenient refilling system to provide patients in need with a more effective way to refill their prescriptions. To assess the efficacy of this new refilling system, changes in patient drug prescription behavior were compared 6 months before and 6 months after the system was deployed. Results: We found an increase in the overall refilling prescription rate, with an increased use of online reservations (7.9% vs. 4.9%, p <0.001), an increased proportion of medications picked up (93.0% vs. 88.1%, p <0.001) after the implementation period, and an elevation in the percentage of patients using drive-through pharmacy services (45.4% vs. 28.9%, p <0.001; second vs. first quarter, respectively) during the 6 months after the implementation period. Generally, the prescription refilling rate for all population categories at Shuang-Ho Hospital increased significantly after the drive-through service was provided (51.1% vs. 50.2%, p <0.01). The middle-aged population group (40-65 years of age) was found to utilize the drive-through prescription service more than other age groups. Conclusion: The drive-through pharmacy provides patients with convenient access to pick up refilling prescriptions in a shorter time than ordinary pharmacy service. During a short-term follow-up, an overall increase in the prescription refilling rate was noted after the drive-through service was put into place. Our survey revealed that an upward of 90% of the patients were satisfied with the drive-through service. Future promotion of the service may help patients effectively utilize drive-through pharmacy prescription refilling and enhance disease control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-41
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Chinese Medical Association
Volume76
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

Fingerprint

Pharmaceutical Services
Taiwan
Prescriptions
Drug Prescriptions
Pharmacies
Population Groups
Chronic Disease
Age Groups

Keywords

  • Chronic illness
  • Drive-through pharmacy services
  • Drug dispensing
  • Drug prescribing
  • Drug refilling system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

First drive-through pharmacy services in Taiwan. / Lin, Yuh Feng; Lin, You Meei; Sheng, Li Huei; Chien, Hsiu Yu; Chang, Tian Jong; Zheng, Cai Mei; Lu, Hsi Peng.

In: Journal of the Chinese Medical Association, Vol. 76, No. 1, 01.2013, p. 37-41.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lin, Yuh Feng ; Lin, You Meei ; Sheng, Li Huei ; Chien, Hsiu Yu ; Chang, Tian Jong ; Zheng, Cai Mei ; Lu, Hsi Peng. / First drive-through pharmacy services in Taiwan. In: Journal of the Chinese Medical Association. 2013 ; Vol. 76, No. 1. pp. 37-41.
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AB - Background: Taiwan has separated drug prescribing and drug dispensing services since 1997. Because of this, patients with chronic illness as well as those with diseases that have a relatively stable status may have their prescriptions refilled in nearby clinic pharmacies without having to go to hospitals. Methods: Shuang-Ho Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan, implemented a drive-through pharmacy service as a more convenient refilling system to provide patients in need with a more effective way to refill their prescriptions. To assess the efficacy of this new refilling system, changes in patient drug prescription behavior were compared 6 months before and 6 months after the system was deployed. Results: We found an increase in the overall refilling prescription rate, with an increased use of online reservations (7.9% vs. 4.9%, p <0.001), an increased proportion of medications picked up (93.0% vs. 88.1%, p <0.001) after the implementation period, and an elevation in the percentage of patients using drive-through pharmacy services (45.4% vs. 28.9%, p <0.001; second vs. first quarter, respectively) during the 6 months after the implementation period. Generally, the prescription refilling rate for all population categories at Shuang-Ho Hospital increased significantly after the drive-through service was provided (51.1% vs. 50.2%, p <0.01). The middle-aged population group (40-65 years of age) was found to utilize the drive-through prescription service more than other age groups. Conclusion: The drive-through pharmacy provides patients with convenient access to pick up refilling prescriptions in a shorter time than ordinary pharmacy service. During a short-term follow-up, an overall increase in the prescription refilling rate was noted after the drive-through service was put into place. Our survey revealed that an upward of 90% of the patients were satisfied with the drive-through service. Future promotion of the service may help patients effectively utilize drive-through pharmacy prescription refilling and enhance disease control.

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