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The Role of Pharmacy Technicians in Patient Safety

Submitted by Meditec on Mon, 08/11/2014 - 18:23

When you walk into a pharmacy to drop off a prescription, who is the first person that you talk to? Right, it’s a Pharmacy Technician. In a typical hospital scenario, chances are majority of patients are going to have their first and/or last interaction with a pharmacy technician. The technician is on the front lines of helping prevent possible medication errors, critical to the patient’s health and safety. There are nearly 4 billion prescriptions for medication filled each year in the United States. It doesn’t matter whether you are a technician working in a hospital or in a retail setting. There are many key things that pharmacy technicians can do to help prevent serious and sometimes fatal medical mistakes from ever happening. Prevention of Medication Errors  It is important to understand the role that a pharmacy technician plays when filling a prescription. The pharmacist has hundreds of things going on and so they depend on the technician to do their part in making sure things are done correctly and accurately. When the patient first drops off the prescription, take a few seconds to do an “eye sweep” of the prescription to ensure that all information mentioned are correct.

  • Is the patient’s name spelled out completely (first and last name)?
  • Is the date of birth written large and clear?
  • Can you read what the medication is, directions, quantity, and the doctor’s name?
  • Does the patient know what medication is prescribed for them?
  • Does the patient know how they are taking the medication?

If the answers to these questions are unclear and cannot be seen from the prescription, call the doctor to get clarification. Continuing education  Results from a 2010 survey sponsored by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board showed that more than 80 percent of the pharmacists surveyed agreed that being certified or getting certification helps reduce medication errors. Pharmacy technicians must continually be updated with the latest knowledge about drugs and its effects. Ongoing continuing education is an essential strategy to keep abreast with the latest industry information, hence helping to prevent errors while doing their jobs. Meditec offers pharmacy technician CE programs that are of high quality and prepared by industry experts. Getting proper education and training can help improve the quality in healthcare delivery and puts patient safety on top. Hence, it is essential for pharmacy technicians to get continuing education from a good and quality school like Meditec.