A Time and Motion Study of Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians Obtaining Admission Medication Histories

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Abstract

Pharmacists’ admission medication histories (AMHs) are known to reduce adverse drug events (ADEs). Pharmacist-supervised pharmacy technicians (PSPTs) have also been used in this role. Nonetheless, few studies estimate the costs of utilizing PSPTs to obtain AMHs. We used time and motion methodology to study the time and cost required for pharmacists and PSPTs to obtain AMHs for patients at high risk for ADEs. Pharmacists and PSPTs required 58.5 (95% confidence interval [CI], 46.9–70.1) and 79.4 (95% CI, 59.1–99.8) minutes per patient, respectively (P = 0.14). PSPT-obtained AMHs also required 26.0 (95% CI, 14.9–37.1) minutes of pharmacist supervision per patient. Based on 2015 US Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data, we estimated the cost of having pharmacists and PSPTs obtain AMHs to be $55.91 (95% CI, 44.9–67.0) and $45.00 (95% CI, 29.7–60.4), respectively, which included pharmacist supervisory cost, per patient (P = 0.32). Thus, we found no statistically significant difference in time or cost between the two provider types.

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