To Drive-Through or Not To Drive-Through.That Is the Question

Author:  Sullivan Brandy

Date:  February 2008

In recent studies led by Sheryl Szienbach professor of Pharmacy Practice and Administration at Ohio State University, pharmacists have begun to notice a decline in the level of service offered to consumers, who pick-up their prescriptions at the pharmacy's drive-through windows. Such a decline has been indicated to be responsible for delays in processing, reduction in efficiency of pharmacists, and errors in medication dispensing.

Pharmacists report that it is, however, not only the drive-through windows that are causing this decline but, also the design and layout of the workplace. Most pharmacies today, in both grocery stores and drug stores, are usually located in the back of the store and rather deprived of adequate space to store, retrieve, and dispense the medication in a timely and efficient manner. While the drive-through provides another method of getting the proper medication in the appropriate consumer's hands quickly it may prove far more detrimental than waiting an extra five to ten minutes inside to retrieve one's medication. Szeinbach states, "Maybe we ought to stop and consider. Am I likely to get the same level of service from the drive-through as I am actually interacting face-to-face with a health-care professional?'"

Presently, the amount of medication dispensed through pharmacies nears almost 4 billion per year in the United States. While this number is drastically high number it is even more daunting to think that so many of the American people depend on medication. These recent studies provide additional evidence for even more concern. As the level of window-service offered to consumers at pharmacy drive-throughs the health of those consumers will eventually begin to also decline and perhaps cause death. However, the probability of the nation's pharmacies undergoing expansive renovations in the near future is drastically lower than the probability of more of the nation's consumers experiencing a higher level of service if they make the choice to "interact face-to-face with a healthcare professional" and not merely convenience. Not to drive-through.that is my answer!

Written by Brandy Sullivan

Reviewed by Pooja Ghatalia

Published by Pooja Ghatalia.