Background Our teaching hospital has a level 3 maternity unit and a neonatal intensive care unit for 29 preterm infants. Over 3,000 bags of paediatric parenteral nutrition are prescribed annually. Their production is outsourced to another hospital. Until 2010, only pharmacy residents and pharmacists were in charge of this activity.
Purpose To design and implement a skills matrix to shift this activity towards the hospital pharmacy technicians.
Materials and Methods A multidisciplinary working group (a pharmacist, a chief technician, a pharmacy resident, two pharmacist technicians (PTs)) defined Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) needed and skill levels according to our Process Map. They established a training programme and finally a Gantt chart.
Results Our matrix includes two levels: level 2 consists of the delivery of parenteral nutrition; level 1 also includes ordering and checking nutrition bags, the management of nonconforming products and monthly management.
Of the 11 pharmacy technicians, 100% gained level 2 and 55% level 1 between January and May 2011 as defined. The activity shift was fully completed after 6 months. SOPs were reviewed and approved entirely during 2011. Experience feedback meetings have been set on a regular basis with the clinical ward to maintain standards since June 2012.
Pharmacy technicians have expanded their skills and this has enabled us to save pharmacists’ time (0.3 Full Time Equivalent). PTs were examined again in September 2012 in order to assess their skills and knowledge after one year, using interactive real-life exercises.
Conclusions The skills matrix is a simple and attractive management tool for identifying needs, assessing and developing individual skills. It provides not only a clear insight into individual skills but also into transversal competencies in a Pharmacy Department. It is particularly adapted to conducting change in a peaceful and positive manner and very important for annual individual assessment.
No conflict of interest.
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