The Western Cape Government Health (WCGH) together with the Department of the Premier has rolled out a new electronic pharmacy queuing ticket system at the Mitchells Plain Community Health Centre’s pharmacy.

Launched earlier this month, the new system is expected to alleviate waiting times for categorised patients and improve the experience of approximately 13,000 patients who collect medication at the facility each month.

“Our pharmacy dispenses medication to approximately 600 patients a day and close to 13,000 patients a month. Due to these figures, we have implemented the new ticketing system to improve our patients experience at the pharmacy,” said Deputy Director for Pharmacy WCGH, Mahboob Roomanay.

“The new ticket system will assist pharmacists at the facility to track and identify the status of patients and to allow them to clearly determine which patient requires fast-tracking to avoid long waiting times,” said Primary Health Care Manager WCGH, Zethu Xapile.

The category of patients identified for fast-tracking of medication collection will be the elderly, pregnant women, physically disabled, children under the age of two, and patients who have a medical emergency with a fast track note written by the doctor.

A queue marshal will collect patient folders every 30 minutes and generate a ticket for each person according to their health status. Each patient will be given a tracking number which will be displayed on a screen and also called out by the electronic voice system when the medication is ready for collection.

“Previously patients had to listen to their names being verbally called out by the queue marshal, which often resulted in people not being able to hear or identify when they had to collect their medication. This potentially led to many people becoming frustrated, as they were not certain when they were going to be assisted. With this new system, patients are able to track their turn in the queue,” said Xapile.

“Together with the previous introduction of the electronic e-reception, we hope to constantly find ways of improving our patients’ experience at the facility and find ways to alleviate and reduce waiting times,” concluded Xapile.

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