Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Reliability and efficiency evaluation of a community pharmacy dispensing process using a coloured Petri-net approach

Naybour, Matthew; Remenyte-Prescott, Rasa; Boyd, Matthew J.


Matthew Naybour


© 2018 It has been estimated that European customers visit community pharmacies to access essential primary healthcare around 46 million times every day. Studies of dispensing error rates in community pharmacies have reported error rates of between 0.08% and 3.3% per item dispensed. While severe cases of dispensing inaccuracies often garner a high level of media coverage, less significant errors are also causing inefficiencies in primary healthcare delivery. If a variety of dispensing protocols and their consequences could be analysed using a modelling tool, the results would form the evidence for decisions on best practice guidelines in order to improve patient safety and pharmacy efficiency. This paper presents a Coloured Petri Net (CPN) modelling technique for analysing the reliability and efficiency of a community pharmacy dispensing process. The proposed approach is a novel method for considering reliability and efficiency in a single simulation based model. The CPN model represents how a team of practitioners work together to complete a set of tasks carried out in community pharmacies. It describes a close-to-reality dispensing process, which evaluates pharmacy performance over a number of key performance indicators of process reliability and efficiency, and records how staff distribute their time between tasks. Where possible, results are validated against published studies of community pharmacies.


Naybour, M., Remenyte-Prescott, R., & Boyd, M. J. (2019). Reliability and efficiency evaluation of a community pharmacy dispensing process using a coloured Petri-net approach. Reliability Engineering and System Safety, 182, 258-268.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 28, 2018
Online Publication Date Oct 3, 2018
Publication Date Feb 1, 2019
Deposit Date Oct 16, 2018
Publicly Available Date Oct 4, 2019
Journal Reliability Engineering and System Safety
Print ISSN 0951-8320
Electronic ISSN 1879-0836
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 182
Pages 258-268
Keywords Coloured Petri Net; Near miss; Dispensing error; Community pharmacy; Dispensing process; Simulation; Accredited checking technician
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations