Selecting a pharmacy layout design using a weighted scoring system

Alissa L. Mcdowell, Yu Li Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. A weighted scoring system was used to select a pharmacy layout redesign. Summary. Facilities layout design techniques were applied at a local hospital pharmacy using a step-by-step design process. The process involved observing and analyzing the current situation, observing the current available space, completing activity flow charts of the pharmacy processes, completing communication and material relationship charts to detail which areas in the pharmacy were related to one another and how they were related, researching applications in other pharmacies or in scholarly works that could be beneficial, numerically defining space requirements for areas within the pharmacy, measuring the available space within the pharmacy, developing a set of preliminary designs, and modifying preliminary designs so they were all acceptable to the pharmacy staff. To select a final layout that could be implemented in the pharmacy, those layouts were compared via a weighted scoring system. The weighted aspect further allowed additional emphasis on categories based on their effect on pharmacy performance. The results produced a beneficial layout design as determined through simulated models of the pharmacy operation that more effectively allocated and strategically located space to improve transportation distances and materials handling, employee utilization, and ergonomics. Conclusion. Facilities layout designs for a hospital pharmacy were evaluated using a weighted scoring system to identify a design that was superior to both the current layout and alternative layouts in terms of feasibility, cost, patient safety, employee safety, flexibility, robustness, transportation distance, employee utilization, objective adherence, maintainability, usability, and environmental impact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)796-804
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Health-System Pharmacy
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2012


  • Communication
  • Costs
  • Models
  • Personnel, pharmacy
  • Pharmacy, institutional, hospital
  • Planning and design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology


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