Clinical support role for a pharmacy technician within a primary care resource center

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Abstract

Purpose

The creation of a clinical support role for a pharmacy technician within a primary care resource center is described.

Summary

In the Primary Care Resource Center (PCRC) Project, hospital-based care transition coordination hubs staffed by nurses and pharmacist teams were created in 6 independent community hospitals. At the largest site, patient volume for targeted diseases challenged the ability of the PCRC pharmacist to provide expected elements of care to targeted patients. Creation of a new pharmacy technician clinical support role was implemented as a cost-effective option to increase the pharmacist’s efficiency. The pharmacist’s work processes were reviewed and technical functions identified that could be assigned to a specially trained pharmacy technician under the direction of the PCRC pharmacist. Daily tasks performed by the pharmacy technician included maintenance of the patient roster and pending discharges, retrieval and documentation of pertinent laboratory and diagnostic test information from the patient’s medical record, assembly of patient medication education materials, and identification of discrepancies between disparate systems’ medication records. In the 6 months after establishing the PCRC pharmacy technician role, the pharmacist’s completion of comprehensive medication reviews (CMRs) for target patients increased by 40.5% (p = 0.0223), driven largely by a 42.4% (p < 0.0001) decrease in the time to complete each chart review.

Conclusion

The addition of a pharmacy technician to augment pharmacist care in a PCRC team extended the reach of the pharmacist and allowed more time for the pharmacist to engage patients. Technician support enabled the pharmacist to complete more CMRs and reduced the time required for chart reviews.

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