Tip of the Week: Making the Most of Tech-Check-Tech

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New roles and responsibilities can be passed to pharmacy technicians in order to free up pharmacists’ time, which enables them to be more engaged with their patients and provide more direct patient care.

As the scope and duties of pharmacists evolve, so too must their reliance on dedicated support personnel, such as pharmacy technicians. Lack of time is often among the most common barriers to pharmacists’ engagement in patient-directed services such as medication therapy management (MTM).1

It has been shown that new roles and responsibilities can be passed to pharmacy technicians in order to free up pharmacists’ time, which enables them to be more engaged with their patients and provide more direct patient care. A recent study revealed that the pharmacies most likely to deviate from the norm in terms of positive services output are those with positive organizational cultures and those that effectively leverage the talents of their technicians.2

Research shows that utilizing programs such as Tech Check Tech (TCT) can be greatly beneficial to all stakeholders in the medication dispensing and utilization process. Andreski et al. reported on an 18-month pilot project designed to measure the effects of a TCT program. The results revealed no significant change in error rates using TCT when compared with verification performed by pharmacists (0.51% vs. 0.27%), with a concurrent, significant increase in the amount of time pharmacists spent in direct patient care services (19.96% vs. 34.72%). The study also observed that pharmacists were able to roughly double the number of patient services provided with no significant increase in error rates.3

Pharmacy managers, even in a corporate environment, have at least some level of autonomy in allocating work duties and responsibilities, optimizing workflow, and delegating various job tasks. Pharmacy managers must be prepared to orient and train staff accordingly, so that they are practicing at the proverbial top of their licenses. Of course, implementing TCT and other similar programs are not done simply for the sake of doing so or merely to advance the profession as the end game; but rather to optimize care for patients, particularly ensuring their safety, health, and well-being.

Additional information about pharmacy technicians can be found in Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 5e.

Sina Hosseini is a PharmD Candidate at Touro University California.

Shane P. Desselle, PhD, is a professor of social and behavioral pharmacy at Touro University California.

REFERENCES

1. Hohmeier KC, Desselle SP. Exploring the implementation of a novel optimizing care model in the community pharmacy setting. J Am Pharm Assoc. 2019;59(3):310-318.

2. Adeoye-Olatunde OA, Lake LM, Strohmier CA, et al. Positive deviants for medication therapy management: A mixed-methods comparative case study of community pharmacy practices. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2021;17(8):1407-1409.

3. Andreski M, Myers M, Gainer K, Pudlo A. The Iowa new practice model: Advancing technician roles to increase pharmacists' time to provide patient care services. J Am Pharm Assoc. 2018;58(3):268-274.