Tech-Check-Tech in Community Pharmacy Practice Settings

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Abstract

Objective: The benefit of a tech-check-tech (TCT) practice model in institutional settings has been well documented. To date, few studies have explored TCT beyond institutional settings. This article summarizes the existing evidence in community pharmacy–based TCT research with respect to dispensing accuracy and pharmacist time devoted to direct patient care. Data Sources: A literature review was conducted using MEDLINE (January 1990 to August 2016), Google Scholar (January 1990 to August 2016), and EMBASE (January 1990 to August 2016) using the terms “tech* and check,” “tech-check-tech,” “checking technician,” and “accuracy checking tech*”. Bibliographies were reviewed to identify additional relevant literature. Study Selection and Data Extraction: Studies were included if they analyzed TCT and were conducted in a community pharmacy practice site, inclusive of chain, independent, mass merchant, supermarket, and mail order pharmacies. Studies were excluded if the TCT practice model was conducted in an institutional or long-term care setting. Survey data on theoretical models of TCT in community pharmacy practice settings were also excluded. Data Synthesis: Over the past 14 years, 4 studies were identified indicating TCT has been performed safely and effectively in community settings. The studies demonstrate that trained community technicians perform as accurately as pharmacists and that TCT increased the amount of pharmacist time devoted to clinical activities. In the 2 studies that reported accuracy rates, pharmacy technicians performed at least as accurately as pharmacists (99.445 vs 99.73%, P = .484; 99.95 vs 99.74, P < .05). Furthermore, 3 of the studies reported gains in pharmacist time, with increases between 9.1% and 19.18% of pharmacist time for consultative services. Conclusions: The present studies demonstrate that TCT can be safe and effective in community pharmacy practice settings, with results similar to those found in institutional settings. It is anticipated more states will explore TCT in community settings in the years ahead as a strategy to improve patient care.

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