Background In 2011, the Centre Hospitalier de Valenciennes Emergency Department (ED) treated an average of 140 patients per day, and 38.8% of these patients were hospitalised. Thus, 54 patients a day were eligible for medicines reconciliation at admission.
A previous study showed that the medicines reconciliation of 46.4% of the patients admitted at the Centre Hospitalier de Valenciennes ED was incorrect, and that pharmacists’ involvement could improve information gathering about home medicines.
During the study, pharmacists did not find any discrepancies with home meds or any drug-related problems (DRPs) in 38.2% of the patients. Pharmacists did not add value for these patients.
Separately, the Centre Hospitalier de Valenciennes pharmacy has automated the drug dispensing process. As a result, pharmacy technicians have expressed their reluctance to only work with a machine, fearing they might lose part of their skills in medicines management.
Before this problem arose, it has been proposed that technicians take part in medicines reconciliation in the ED.
Purpose To assess which tasks could be conducted by a pharmacy technician in medicines reconciliation.
Materials and Methods Technicians were present at the ED with a pharmacist. Technicians conducted standardised procedures, such as contacting the community pharmacy or assessing patients’ compliance according to scores, and reported the conclusions to the pharmacist.
Results Pharmacy technicians had a strong incentive to get involved, as it refreshed their knowledge of medicines management. Moreover, it helped pharmacist to reconcile more patients in the ED, and to focus on patients with DRPs.
However, pharmacy technicians need to be trained on how to detect DRPs, such as therapeutic escalation, and on how to conduct a patient interview.
Conclusions Involving pharmacy technicians in medicines reconciliation may help the pharmacist in the ED, and allow the technicians to keep up their medicines management skills.
No conflict of interest.
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