Time Management: Good For You and Your Patients

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Among the greatest assets not reported on a balance sheet is time. On the other hand, when managed poorly, lack of time can end up exacerbating stress for the individual practitioner, create an unpleasant environment in the workplace, and lead to costly errors.

Effective time management is essential for the pharmacist. A pharmacist without good time management skills is all but precluded from being an effective practitioner. Think about how a pharmacist with poor time management skills seems to be always putting out fires and contributing to mayhem. Studies of effective pharmacy services delivery examine various aspects of management, such as managing change, leadership, empowerment of and delegation to others. Even while seldom measured explicitly in these studies, time management is implied.

Rhodes et al considered effective time management as a study variable.1 They evaluated the economic impact of a targeted medication program. They found a negative return-on-investment of this program of -3.0%, wherein the average targeted medication intervention was 22.63 minutes. It was determined that the break-even point for this intervention would have required the service to be conducted in 21.85 minutes. The extra time taken by some pharmacists was not the result of “better” or more thorough provision of services; rather, it was being able to do so more efficiently as a result of their own management skills as well as developing the time management skills of other employees.  

An excellent pharmacist not only gains wisdom about efficiency through experience, but also fully recognizes the importance of and practices good time management, in addition to helping peers and staff do the same in their own self-development.  

Additional information about Time Management and Organization Skills can be found in Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 4e. If you or your institution subscribes to AccessPharmacy, use or create your MyAccess Profile to sign-in to Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 4e. If your institution does not provide access, ask your medical librarian about subscribing.

1Rhodes SA, Reynolds AE, Marciniak MW, Ferreri SP. Evaluating the economic impact of a targeted medication intervention program. J Pharm Pract. 2013;26:562-573.

Shane Desselle

Professor of Social and Behavioral Pharmacy, Touro University California


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over 3 years ago

Please share with us examples where you have seen effective and ineffective time management at work.