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Reducing Pharmacy Wait Time to Promote Customer Service: A Follow-up Study

Slowiak, Julie M. PhD; Huitema, Bradley E. PhD

Quality Management in Health Care: January/March 2015 - Volume 24 - Issue 1 - p 9–20
doi: 10.1097/QMH.0000000000000045
Original Articles

Purpose: The present study had 3 objectives: (1) to evaluate the effects of 2 different interventions (feedback regarding customer satisfaction with wait time and combined feedback and goal setting) on wait time in a hospital outpatient pharmacy; (2) to assess the extent to which the previously applied interventions maintained their effects; and (3) to evaluate the differences between the effects of the original study and those of the present follow-up study.

Subjects and Methods: Participants were 10 employees (4 pharmacists and 6 technicians) of an outpatient pharmacy. Wait times and customer satisfaction ratings were collected for “waiting customers.” An ABCB within-subjects design was used to assess the effects of the interventions on both wait time and customer satisfaction, where A was the baseline (no feedback and no goal setting); B was the customer satisfaction feedback; and C was the customer satisfaction feedback, the wait time feedback, and the goal setting for wait time reduction.

Results and Conclusions: Wait time decreased after baseline when the combined intervention was introduced, and wait time increased with the reintroduction of satisfaction feedback (alone). The results of the replication study confirm the pattern of the results of the original study and demonstrate high sensitivity of levels of customer satisfaction with wait time. The most impressive result of the replication is the nearly 2-year maintenance of lower wait time between the end of the original study and the beginning (baseline) of the replication.

Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota Duluth (Dr Slowiak); and Department of Psychology, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan (Dr Huitema).

Correspondence: Julie M. Slowiak, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota Duluth, 1049 University Dr, Duluth, MN 55812 (

The authors declare no conflicts of interest and no funding.

© 2015Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins