Reconfiguration of hospital outpatient pharmacies by adopting the concept of group technology for arrangement of drugs on shelves

Hamdi Bashir*, Ibrahim Garbie, Adel Hejaaji

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Reconfiguration of hospital outpatient pharmacies is necessary to achieve several benefits, including improved workflows, reduction in the total distances travelled by pharmacy drug pickers, and reduction in patient waiting times, thereby increasing patient satisfaction. To achieve this purpose, this paper proposes the use of a methodology that involves application of group technology, a manufacturing concept, to the drug-shelving problem. To demonstrate its practicality, the proposed methodology is applied to an outpatient pharmacy in a public hospital, in which 21 drug groups, comprising 114 different drugs, are clustered into eight cells, where each cell consists of interrelated drug groups that are to be located in close proximity on the shelves. Unlike those proposed in the literature, the methodology described in this paper, in addition to its simplicity, has the advantage of retaining the arrangement of drugs in their groups while minimising the total distance that pharmacy drug pickers travel to fill prescriptions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-450
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Cellular manufacturing.
  • Drug shelving
  • Group technology
  • Travel distances

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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