Impact of an expanded ward pharmacy technician role on service-delivery and workforce outcomes in a subacute aged care service

Rohan Andrew Elliott, Dhineli Perera, Nadia Mouchaileh, Roseline Antoni, Michael Clifford Woodward, Tim Tran, Kent Garrett

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Background: Ward pharmacy technicians (WPTs) support hospital pharmacists in the provision of clinical pharmacy services, however they are under-utilised in Australia. Aim: To evaluate the impact of an expanded WPT role within a 56-bed subacute aged care inpatient service. Method: The expanded WPT role included increased hours (from approximately 15.2 to 38 h/week) and an expanded scope of practice. WPT tasks included: assisting with individual patient medication supply, screening medication charts for changes, assisting with medication reconciliation and recording laboratory data for review by the pharmacist. The impact of the redesigned role on workforce and service- delivery outcomes was evaluated in a prospective before?after study. Data were collected using self-report, time-and-motion studies, dispensing reports and surveys. Results: WPT assistance with individual patient medication supply increased from 80 . In the new workforce model, the WPT assisted with medication reconciliation and recording laboratory data on admission for more than 80 patients. The proportion of pharmacist time spent on clinical tasks increased from 58.0 to 73.9 (p <0.0001), and unpaid pharmacist overtime fell from a median of 58.4 to 13.4 min/day (p <0.0001). The median number of pharmacist interventions to resolve medication-related problems increased from 4 to 9/day (p <0.0001), and interventions were made earlier in the admission. There were improvements in ward staff satisfaction with some aspects of the pharmacy service, and in the pharmacist s and WPT?s satisfaction with their roles. Conclusion: An expanded WPT role improved clinical pharmacy service-delivery, staff satisfaction and patient care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-104
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Pharmacy Practice and Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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