Data Analyst Role for Pharmacy Technicians Supports Medication Use Systems

Article

A new role of pharmacy technician data analyst (TDA) could help support a safe and effective medication use system in the pharmacy, according to a case study presented at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacist’s 2021 Midyear conference. In the study, the investigators observed that by elevating technicians to advanced analytics roles, pharmacies could develop user-friendly data collection tools and data analytics.

In the health system studied in the report, the medication utilization strategy team (MUST) is responsible for implementing a safe, effective, and low-cost medication use system. The MUST is expected to support the mission and vision of the department of pharmacy, and consists of 5 pharmacists, including 1 leadership position, 1 dedicated technician, and 1 TDA. The TDA role was developed in order to allow technicians to practice at the top of their license, as well as to increase efficiency in the decision-making process.

A novel role for the TDA noted by the investigators was the development, implementation, and maintenance of data collection methods to streamline the inventory management process around non-formulary medications. Further, the TDA would develop and report real-time medication utilization data for the purpose of mitigating drug shortages and identifying potential areas for cost savings.

According to the investigators, through a deeper understanding of the nuances of reporting systems and medication data, the TDA is capable of leveraging their pharmacy base and informatics background to improve data reporting methods.

After these initial positive results, the TDA role has remained under continued review to evaluate how it can be expanded and improved. Additionally, a needs assessment helped to identify potential opportunities for the expansion of the role, including the development of a robust pharmacy and therapeutics actions database and the provision of data visualization tools access for the TDA to use as necessary.

REFERENCE

Spoelhof B, Griggs D, Hubbert MA. The role of a technician data analyst for medication utilization strategy at an academic health system. Presented at: ASHP Midyear 2021. Accessed December 3, 2021.

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