What Constitutes Patient Safety for Pharmacy Technicians? Recently it was announced that pharmacy technicians working in drug stores have taken an active role in improving the quality of care that patients receive from staff members. According to a report published by the American Association of Pharmacy Technicians (AAPT), a survey of 612 drugstore technicians showed that staff members were often not adequately trained in providing quality patient care. The focus of this survey was to determine how pharmacy technicians relate to nursing staff and how these relationships impact patient safety.
OBJECTives: The aim of the survey was to identify common practices in the retail sector that may be causing problems with pharmacy technician duties. It was concluded that pharmacy technicians should work closely with the clinical pharmacist and become certified through an approved training program. In addition, it was recommended that pharmacists consider outsourcing their technician responsibilities to an onsite pharmacy or technician to minimize the cost of providing pharmacy technician duties. The final recommendations included improved staffing levels and scheduling of pharmacy shifts to minimize the risk of errors and ensure quality patient care. The report stated that future research should focus on issues relating to pharmacy managers using scheduling programs to control staffing levels, the need to assign independent clinical pharmacists to shift work and whether the need for staffing controls are appropriate for retail clinics.
RESULTS: The survey identified a number of potential issues related to pharmacy technicians working in the retail healthcare industry. The most common problem identified was the low educational level and lack of training that resulted in inexperienced pharmacy technicians completing routine tasks. The majority of pharmacy technicians working in retail settings had at least one year of training and most were self-trained or had previously held some other job with similar responsibilities. An analysis of the healthcare organization showed that pharmacy technicians often performed duties that resulted in patient harm, which may have increased the liability of pharmacies.
The study also identified several areas that needed to be addressed to ensure the protection of patients while being under the supervision of pharmacy technicians. The majority of pharmacy technicians worked in a setting where they had few references and were not supervised regularly. Some of the leading retail sectors identified the need for more specialized education and training for pharmacy technicians in order to meet regulatory requirements. The retail healthcare industry is now faced with challenges associated with pharmacy technicians working in areas such as patient safety and quality improvement.
Based on the survey results, it was identified that pharmacy technician employees needed to have critical thinking skills in order to perform the necessary tasks in a safe manner. According to the survey, when pharmacy technicians completed the required tasks, their critical thinking skills were used to identify and correct problems. The critical thinking skills are critical to pharmacy practice management, and should be reviewed and taught to all pharmacy technicians upon completion of training.
Another area that has come under review recently is the pharmacist jobs that currently exist. In many cases, pharmacists are required to have more than the basic qualifications required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Pharmacy technicians who work in health care settings are required to have HIPAA Qualified Security Officers (QSROs) who are also trained in critical thinking skills. According to the survey results, if a pharmacy technician was employed in a health care setting, the percentage of time that a pharmacist was absent due to error or negligence was greater than the amount of time that a pharmacy technician was present.
When it comes to the health care industry, the results of the survey highlighted the importance of a well-trained pharmacy tech. In addition to helping to maintain patient safety, a qualified pharmacy tech can also help to maintain pharmaceutical costs as a high priority. This is important because many pharmacies must meet an annual ceiling on the amount of drugs that they can sell to a patient. By implementing a pharmacist monitoring program, a pharmacy technician can help the company stay within the guidelines established by the health ministry and avoid having their drug costs audited by the Office of the Superintendent of Pharmacy (OSAP). In addition to having a record of these expenditures, the health ministry requires that all pharmacies maintain a pharmacy inventory, which lists the different prescriptions that a patient has taken at each visit.
A pharmacy tech is an exciting career choice for many people. However, the results of the survey highlighted one common concern that many current and future pharmacists face: being able to identify problems with patient care. While it may not seem like a big concern, problems can arise, particularly when a new pharmacist faces the issue of having to explain a patient’s problem to management or a doctor. What happens when the management calls for a review of the situation? Pharmacy techs need to be able to effectively handle these types of situations and demonstrate the customer care that is so important in the job description of a pharmacy technician.