Tip of the Week: Proper, Comprehensive Training is Essential to Enhance Implementation of New Services

Providing sufficient and comprehensive training about a new service could ensure both successful implementation and increased engagement of staff toward that intervention.

Because community pharmacies might seem somewhat homogenous to patients, providing excellent service could be a factor that differentiates a particular pharmacy, or makes it stand apart from others. However, implementation of a new service can be challenging for both pharmacists and technicians, since providing a new service can impact the pharmacy’s workflow. Successful implementation of a new intervention or service requires high levels of engagement among pharmacy staff, including technicians.

In a recent Tip of the Week, the importance and benefits of facilitating engagement among pharmacy staff were discussed.1 Providing sufficient and comprehensive training about a new service could ensure both successful implementation and increased engagement of staff toward that intervention.

In a study conducted by Corelli et al., the effects of comprehensive and intensive training on staff were noted and contrasted with minimal training.2 In a randomized trial conducted at 20 California-based grocery store chain pharmacies, the roles of technicians were expanded to also encompass involvement in facilitating a brief tobacco cessation intervention. The pharmacies were divided into 2 groups to receive either minimal training, which only included written materials, or to receive intensive training that included written training materials plus live training with coaching and active monitoring by pharmacy management.

After the training, the number of tobacco cessation interventions was documented for a period of 12 weeks. The researchers noted that 100% of technicians who received intensive training reported at least 1 tobacco cessation intervention, whereas only 62% of technicians who received minimal training reported at least 1 intervention. Additionally, 100% of technicians who received intensive training self-rated their ability to interact with patients about tobacco cessation as good to excellent, compared with 73.9% of technicians who received minimal training.2

This study clearly demonstrates that technicians can be well equipped to provide public health-related services such as tobacco cessation after proper role delineation and training. It also shows that ample and sufficient training would have a positive impact on both the success rate of the new service and on the level of employees’ engagement. Pharmacy managers should try to maximize staff engagement toward a new service by providing coaching and mentoring, live training, and active monitoring to fuel success.

Additional information about managing peopleandimplementing value-added servicescan be found in Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 5e.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Sina Hosseini is a PharmD candidate at the Touro University California College of Pharmacy.

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

REFERENCES

1. Woodyard AP, Desselle SP. Tip of the Week: Facilitate engagement among pharmacy staff. Pharmacy Times. https://www.pharmacytimes.com/view/tip-of-the-week-facilitate-engagement-among-pharmacy-staff.

2. Corelli RL, Merchant KR, Hilts KE, et al. Community pharmacy technicians' engagement in the delivery of brief tobacco cessation interventions: Results of a randomized trial. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2021;doi:10.1016/j.sapharm.2021.09.001