Ask any independent pharmacist about managing workflow and it is likely he or she will tell you that “there is simply not enough time to accomplish everything you set to do in a day.” Typically, the first casualty is time itself. Specifically, the time lost in chasing down answers to back-end insurance or other extraneous business issues. As those minutes burn up, so do your chances of having more time with patients. But, there is hope. In this case, it comes in the form of expanding the role of the pharmacy technician. For years, Benzer Franchise has advocated in favor of assigning more duties to pharmacy techs as a way of freeing up the pharmacist to attend to the needs of customers.
Traditionally, we’ve seen what these professionals do behind-the-scenes as the “backbone” of any successful retail business. Just as importantly, it’s no exaggeration to say that their impact on the front-end can be just as dramatic.
Anthony Pudlo, PharmD, MBA, Vice President of Professional Affairs at The Iowa Pharmacy Association, is one authority who agrees with that conclusion. In a recent video statement filmed at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores—Total Store Expo 2018, and posted on pharmacytimes.com, Pudlo explained why he believes pharmacy techs “are the backbone” of any pharmacy:
“They’re the ones that really, through their ability to fill the product …and help with the product verification piece, [allow] the pharmacist to have more time in front of patients. We also see technicians play roles in medication reconciliation and advanced sterile compounding as well. Really, the scope is pretty wide in terms of what technicians are already doing in Iowa, and I know other states are looking at broadening that as well.”
One of the chief concerns, however, is that standards of what technicians can and cannot do vary widely from state-t0-state. “In Iowa,” as Pudlo explains, “pharmacy technicians need to be registered with the Board of Pharmacy and nationally certified” to perform specific tasks like product verifications. Meanwhile, Alex J. Adams, PharmD, MPH, from the Idaho State Board of Pharmacy, suggests pharmacists in that state, for example, currently are able to delegate final product verifications to pharmacy technicians.
Despite those differences, Adams claims there’s wide agreement among experts that “expanding the role of pharmacy technicians improves workflow efficiencies and benefits the pharmacy team as a whole.” On top of that, data suggests that there’s a lot of good news in the career picture for pharmacy techs themselves.
Just a few years ago, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted a healthy job outlook for pharmacy technicians on par with “nine percent growth” from 2014 onward—a figure seen by many as due to a spike in demand for pharmacy services associated with filling prescriptions.
A related article posted on pbahealth.com went further to describe how pharmacy techs are now taking on expanded roles in the areas of medication reconciliation, medication therapy management, immunization delivery, indigent care programs, investigational drug programs, sterile and non-sterile compounding, point-0f-care testing, patient safety, informatics, tech-check-tech initiatives, and beyond.
According to Miriam A. Mobley Smith, Pharm.D., FASHP, director of strategic alliances at the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), “There are some estimates that the implementation of tech-check-tech initiatives may have a net effect of freeing greater than 20 percent of the pharmacist’s time, so they can engage in advanced patient care roles and services.”
Join Benzer Pharmacy franchise group as we help you find the right technicians for your pharmacy, provide training and help you grow by allowing you to give more time to your patients.
To learn more, visit https://www.benzerpharmacy.com/franchise/