Assessment of impact of daily huddles and visual displays on medication delivery timeliness in a large academic medical center

Andrew J.F. Smith, Sean P. Ahern, Kenneth M. Shermock, Tara T. Feller, John D. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. To evaluate the impact of pharmacy team huddles and near real-time performance dashboards on the punctuality of medication delivery departures from the adult inpatient pharmacy of a multihospital medical center. Methods. Baseline delivery punctuality was established during a 2-week unannounced preintervention period, followed by the implementation of daily huddles focused on delivery timeliness along with visual displays of delivery performance metrics. The 5- to 15-minute huddles included pharmacy technicians, pharmacists, and managers. Printed visual displays that tracked hour-by-hour timeliness over the prior 24 hours were prominently displayed in the pharmacy. The primary outcome was the overall change in the percentage of punctual medication delivery departures (ie, deliveries leaving the pharmacy at the scheduled time) during the 2 weeks after implementation of huddles and visual displays (the postintervention period). Punctuality was assessed at both the day and shift levels using generalized estimating equations in a piecewise regression model. A multivariable model was constructed using a forward stepwise selection process to assess the potential impacts of workload drivers and staffing levels on medication delivery punctuality. Results. During the pre- and postintervention periods, the punctuality of a total of 1,032 deliveries was recorded. Punctuality of deliveries across all shifts increased by 37% (95% confidence interval [CI], 18%-56% [P < 0.001]), from 50% to 87%, immediately following implementation of the huddle intervention. When punctuality was assessed by individual shift, we observed statistically significant increases for the day (35% [95% CI, 13%-57%], P = 0.002), evening (34% [95% CI, 12%-56%], P = 0.003) and night (57% [95% CI, 35%-79%], P < 0.001) shifts. During the forward stepwise multivariable model-building process, order volume, message volume, and technician staffing levels were not significantly correlated with delivery punctuality at the day or shift level. Conclusion. Daily huddles with visual displays were successful in improving the punctuality of medication delivery departures from the pharmacy, independent of workload drivers and staffing levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1585-1591
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Health-System Pharmacy
Issue number19
StatePublished - Sep 18 2020


  • Communication
  • Huddles
  • Performance dashboards
  • Pharmacy practice
  • Pharmacy technicians
  • Pharmacy workflow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology


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