To Take Out (TTO)

Pharmacy staff need time to turn round prescriptions and ensure patients get the correct medication.

Pharmacy has reduced the average time it takes to turn round a prescription from three hours to ninety minutes.

But Pharmacy is just part of the process by which patients receive their medication as they leave hospital. Staff on the wards need to play their part by ordering TTOs as early as possible.

Pharmacy staff also work on the wards. Make sure you keep them informed and notify them as early as possible about a patient’s progress.

Doctors need to prioritise the writing of patient prescriptions. It may seem secondary to the next urgent call on your time - but leaving it to the end of the day can have severe knock-on effects.

TTO’s should be discussed at your Board Round for any patient approaching their EDD.

“Pharmacy is not McDonald’s - we can’t process things as quickly as a fast food outlet!”

Nick Butler Clinical Pharmacy Manager at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

Jargon Buster

  • ACU
    Acute Care Unit
  • AEC
    Ambulatory Emergency CARE
  • CCG
    Clinical Commissioning Group
  • ED
    Emergency Department


  • EDD
    Estimated Date of Discharge
  • IDT
    Integrated Discharge Team
  • Pulmonary Embolism
    Pulmonary embolism: A sudden blockage in a lung artery. The blockage is usually caused by a blood clot that travels to the lung from a vein in the leg.


  • SORT
    Sick patients, Out today or tomorrow, Rest of patients, To come in.
  • SPCA
    Single Point Clinical Access
  • TTO (Pharmacy medication)
    To Take Out