Introducing a checking technician allows pharmacists to spend more time on patient-focused activities

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Internationally there is an increasing focus on the clinical and cognitive services that pharmacists can provide. Lack of time has been identified as a barrier to pharmacists increasing their clinical activities. Within the pharmacy workplace there are many tasks that can only be performed by a pharmacist. The final accuracy check of a dispensed prescription is currently the sole responsibility of pharmacists in New Zealand. This takes up a significant amount of time during a pharmacist's work day. The introduction of a checking technician role has been suggested to allow pharmacists more time to do more patient focused work.


To investigate the amount of time pharmacy staff spend on specific activities and to establish whether the introduction of a checking technician into twelve pilot sites increased the amount of time that the pharmacists could spend on patient focused activities.


This study utilised a self-reported work sampling technique in twelve pilot sites, selected from both the hospital and community settings. Work sampling using an electronic device was conducted at two time-points (before the implementation of a Pharmacy Accuracy Checking Technician (PACT) role and when the PACT was in place). Data was collected at 10 min intervals for the period of five days, a working week. Tasks were grouped into patient focused, dispensing and personal activities.


The introduction of the PACT into the pilot sites saw a mean increase of 19% in pharmacists' patient focused activities and a mean 20% decrease in dispensing activities.


The introduction of a checking technician role into New Zealand pharmacies demonstrated the potential to provide pharmacists with more time to spend on patient focused activities.

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