Pharmacy technicians in a health-system setting have progressively been interviewing patients to collect data about the medications they are taking. Technicians also call patient’s pharmacy and different healthcare providers to merge the results of the interview with refill and filling patterns.
FREMONT, CA: Bygone is the days of pharmacy technicians serving as cashiers and clerks. Working with insurance organizations and patients, entering and filling prescriptions, and interacting with physician’s offices are a few of the new functions that today’s technicians have taken on. Because pharmacies in almost all care settings have become more occupied, pharmacy technicians have stepped up and assumed a series of supplementary roles and responsibilities.
Here are the changing roles of pharmacy technicians:
1. Taking Medication Histories and Performing Reconciliations
Pharmacy technicians in a health-system setting have progressively been interviewing patients to collect data about the medications they are taking. Technicians also call patient’s pharmacy and different healthcare providers to merge the results of the interview with refill and filling patterns. After the pharmacy technician completes the investigation, the results are offered to the pharmacist for interpretation and review, saving them a ton of time.
2. Managing Inventory
As pharmacy technicians have their fingers on the pulse of the pharmacy, they are ideal candidates to take on a more active role in inventory management. Besides, they may know the pharmacy’s inventory requirements better than the pharmacist. Currently, pharmacy technician training comprises essential management topics and inventory cycling.
3. Medication Distribution
Few pharmacies have implemented technician-check-technician programs; wherein one pharmacy technician verifies that another technician has filled the prescription correctly. The programs free the pharmacist from having to supervise simple medication distribution.
4. Patient Education
Now technicians are also called upon to work directly with patients to explain medications, dosages, and side effects, identify medication adherence issues and answer patient questions. If a technician observes a problem or requires assistance, they typically elevate the concern to the pharmacist. Furthermore, pharmacy technicians are swiftly becoming the first stop when it comes to direct patient care.
5. Assisting with emergency care
Most pharmacy technicians are now required by their employers to become CPR-certified and/ perform a particular role in the occurrence of an emergency. Whether a technician retrieves AED, begins CPR, or calls the emergency line, the all hands on deck approach can help save a life when seconds count.
6. Communicating With Prescribing Physicians
Communicating with recommended physicians used to be sternly within the purview of the pharmacist. Present-day pharmacy technicians are working with doctors and medical personals to resolve discrepancies, medication histories, and explain prescriptions on the pharmacist’s behalf.
Pharmacy technicians are swiftly becoming the industry’s experts on insurance. As insurance plans become more complex, technicians are regularly dealing with impatient and upset customers at the pharmacy counter or drive-thru window. Therefore, most technicians must make regular calls to insurance businesses or advice patients on their preferences when they are faced with a large prescription bill. Many technicians are also familiar with prescription assistance plans accessible through drug companies or government.
8. Evaluating Pharmacy Operations
As mentioned, pharmacy technicians know the industry inside and out. As a result, pharmacy managers often look to technicians to propose ways to develop efficiency, reduce waste, boost patient care, and cut costs. The technician is also in an ideal spot to offer valuable feedback on pharmacy procedures and policies that affect day-to-day operations.
9. Quality Control
Pharmacy technicians seem to be taking a more active role in warranting quality patient care. By recognizing potentially harmful therapy duplication and drug interactions—often before the pharmacist even evaluates the patient’s case—technicians serve as a filter to improve the pharmacist’s workload.
The job of a pharmacy technician is possibly to expand considerably in the coming years. With that growth, technicians may see opportunities for enhanced professional training, increased pay, and occasions to focus on certain aspects of patient care like pediatrics, pain management, or mental health.