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An investigation of factors influencing the productivity of pharmacists in community pharmacies

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  • This study sampled the work activities of community pharmacists in eighteen western Oregon pharmacies (9 chain and 9 independent, stratified by daily prescription volume). Utilizing a technique of recording at least 960 observations in each pharmacy, a total of 41,542 observations were recorded into 28 mutually exclusive task activity categories. The sampling process provided a data base for productivity outputs in prescriptions per pharmacist per hour. The primary objective of this study was to identify the relationships of input factors in the community pharmacy prescription processing function with observed levels of productivity (outputs) in different sizes and types of pharmacies. Multiple regression was utilized to examine possible relationships of inputs with the productivity outputs measured in prescriptions per pharmacist per hour. Five hypotheses were developed and tested, including one hypothesis which suggested a positive relationship with an increase in productivity and the utilization of subprofessionals in the prescription procesing function. In addition to testing the hypotheses, the costs were examined of several specified services (third-party clerical activities, clerical activities concerning patient profiles and clerical activities involving written customer receipts). Finally, models were developed which could be utilized to predict the influence of independent variables upon the cost of pharmacist labor in the prescription processing function. Two predictive models were developed which provided r² values greater than 0.78.
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