FORT MEADE, Md. -- A year ago, patients waiting to pick up a refill prescription at Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center's pharmacy would have an average wait of 15 minutes.

Sometimes, depending on the time of day, that wait could last up to 30 or 40 minutes.

But since Kimbrough's new satellite refill pharmacy opened on May 1, the wait time is now down to two to three minutes -- 10 minutes at most.

"The feedback has been 99 percent positive," said Sgt. 1st Class James Wilson, noncommissioned-officer-in-charge of the Kimbrough pharmacy. "We get compliments on how short the wait is."

Wilson said that the year before the satellite refill pharmacy opened, the main pharmacy served more than 185,000 patients -- 39,800 of whom came only to pick up refills.

That was the problem.

"Patients were not happy with having called in their prescription and having to wait. We had to fix that to improve patient care," Wilson said.

"The idea was, if we could move the refills out, we could not only decrease the number of patients in the waiting room, which was filled to capacity, but also open up another window in the pharmacy to speed up the process for outpatient pharmacy services."

Lt. Col. Michael Yapp, former chief of the pharmacy, and Wilson began brainstorming ideas of how to establish a satellite pharmacy in or outside of Kimbrough, with a limited budget.

"We looked for a building on post, but that didn't work out," Wilson said.

But when the vendor at Kimbrough's shoppette moved out of the building in March, the clinic's command offered the space to the pharmacy.

Yapp, Wilson and Kimbrough's logistics division developed a plan of how to provide the refill services.

"We just made it happen," Wilson said.

The satellite pharmacy is now staffed by two pharmacy technicians. Patients take a number and are quickly serviced.

Patient feedback on customer evaluations from the Army's Patient Satisfaction Survey include comments such as "great idea, no wait" and "so convenient, no long wait, thank you, thank you, thank you."

Kimbrough is currently waiting for the opening of its new outpatient pharmacy. which will be located at the new Exchange.

Editor's note: The satellite refill pharmacy is open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center is not open on Saturdays until Sept. 30, due to the sequestration furloughs.