Background Pharmacy practice is based on collaboration between pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. Better knowledge of the roles and impacts of the pharmacy technicians can involve better organisation of pharmaceutical activities and improved patient care. There are numerous studies and literature reviews published about the roles and the impact of pharmacists. What about pharmacy technicians?
Purpose This literature review aimed to describe and assess the roles and impact of hospital pharmacy technicians.
Material and methods A literature search was conducted on PubMed (’pharmacy technician (all fields) OR pharmacy technicians (all fields)’) from 1 January 1996 to 29 April 2016. French and English articles describing the roles and impact of hospital pharmacy technicians were considered. The selection of articles was based on title followed by abstracts and then entire articles. Data extraction (ie, country, journal, type of study, activities, indicators and impact) was performed by two authors and supervised by one reviewer. For each article included in the analysis, all relevant activities were identified. Key indicators that document the impact of the pharmacy technician with statistical analysis or with only quantitative or qualitative metrics were identified and categorised as mortality, morbidity, adverse effects, adherence, medication errors, costs, satisfaction and others. No statistical analysis was conducted.
Results A total of 36 articles were included. The majority of articles were published in the USA (58%, 21/36). Articles were classified into eight pharmacy technician activities: technical support to specific clinical pharmacists activities evaluated in 22 articles with 21 indicators, medication reconciliation activities (n=19 articles/n=12 indicators), support to patient counselling activities (n=9/n=10), drug procurement (n=8/n=9), tech-check-tech activities (n=4/n=6), drug dispensing activities (n=3/n=4) and other activities (drug administration, follow-up phone call, etc) (n=7/n=11). 17 articles included a positive impact of pharmacy technicians for a total of 31 indicators. These indicators were related to medication errors (n=10), morbidity (n=3), costs (n=2), adherence (n=1), satisfaction (n=1) and others (number of patients, time spend, etc) (n=14). No included article reported a negative impact of pharmacy technicians.
Conclusion There is an emerging literature about the roles and impact of pharmacy technician and they can have a positive impact in the drug use process.
No conflict of interest
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.