Accuracy of medication histories collected by pharmacy technicians during hospital admission

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Abstract

Background:

Transitioning activities that do not require clinical judgment from pharmacists to pharmacy technicians has been endorsed as a strategy to increase patient access to clinical pharmacy services. One role becoming increasingly common is using pharmacy technicians to collect the medication history within medication reconciliation processes.

Objective:

To assess the ability of pharmacy technicians to gather a complete and accurate medication history during the inpatient admission process at a regional medical center.

Methods:

Prospective study of unscheduled inpatient admissions at Salem Hospital. Patients where the initial information source was patient or caregiver interview, had two medication histories collected – one by a pharmacy technician through usual care processes and one by a student pharmacist with pharmacist oversight. Medication histories were then compared and a percent accuracy ranging from 0 – 100% was calculated for each of the pharmacy technician-collected histories.

Results:

A total of 101 patients were included from January 19 to March 6, 2016. Patients were on average 65 ± 19 years of age and taking 7 ± 6 medications at admission. The accuracy of the technician collected histories was 92.9 ± 14.2%. Accuracy was not impacted by age, number of medications, or admitting shift (all p > 0.05).

Conclusions:

Pharmacy technicians can collect complete and accurate medication histories. Results add to the growing body of literature supporting an expanded role for pharmacy technicians in medication reconciliation processes.

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