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A Peek Under the Counter of PAH’s New Outpatient Pharmacy


Apothecary. Drug Store. Pharmacy. No matter what you call them, they do the same, vitally important thing: prepare and dispense medicine.

Over time, the local pharmacy has become a community staple, expanding to provide more and more health care and retail services. And in today’s world, hospital pharmacies are no different. The Outpatient Pharmacy at Pennsylvania Hospital moved to a new, larger location on April 13, where it now offers expanded services and products to patients, employees and community residents. All employees were invited to attend an open house April 9, for a ribbon cutting ceremony which officially kicked-off the Pharmacy’s reopening and to tour the brand new facility.

PAH opened the first hospital pharmacy in the original 13 U.S. colonies in 1752. The pharmacy remained in the original, historic Pine building for next 175 years. During OutPt-Pharm-Ribbon-Cut_croppedthis time the pharmacy only served hospital inpatients. Once the pharmacy was moved into a newer hospital building it still only served inpatients but eventually did expand service to employees. Then, in 2001, a small Outpatient Pharmacy (OP) was designated on the first floor of the hospital’s Spruce building, across the street from the main hospital complex, to accommodate outpatients, employees and community members.

Over the past 14 years, the OP remained in the same space with only one walk-up window. But that’s about the only thing that didn’t change as its work grew exponentially.

Today, the six staff members of the PAH OP fill approximately 40,000 prescriptions annually – which translates into an average of 163 prescriptions filled per day during its Monday to Friday operations. That’s means staff average filling over 20 prescriptions an hour, all while working with physicians and hospital staff and assisting customers.

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