Tech-check-tech

Jan 04, 2007

Regulation set to take effect tomorrow, Jan. 5, 2007, is designed to reduce medication errors in California hospitals and free pharmacists for greater involvement in direct patient care rather than in non-discretionary (clerical) tasks. The new regulation will allow general acute care hospitals to employ specially trained pharmacy technicians to check medication cassettes and the work of other technicians, thereby freeing pharmacists to expand their role in patient care areas to ensure the safety of the medication use process.

Research studies led by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco School of Pharmacy played a key role in the decision to approve this regulation. The results of the first "tech-check-tech" study, which were published in the American Journal of Healthy-System Pharmacy in 2002, demonstrated the safety of having specially-trained technicians check the work of other technicians to prevent medication errors. The research was conducted at Cedars-Sinai and at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. The second study, just completed, demonstrated the impact of pharmacists on preventing medication errors during the time that they would otherwise have been performing non-discretionary tasks.

Historically, any function performed by a pharmacy technician relative to dispensing a prescription had to be verified and documented in writing by a pharmacist, but the new regulation will enable hospital pharmacists to devote their time to activities designed to reduce errors, such as working with physicians and nurses to evaluate medications and ensure the absence of allergies, drug interactions, or patient conditions that would be of concern.

According to Rita Shane, Pharm. D., director of Pharmacy Services at Cedars-Sinai and one of the principal investigators on the study, "A number of studies have demonstrated the value of pharmacists in reducing adverse drug events in the hospital setting. One study showed that hospitals with pharmacists in patient care areas had a 45 percent decrease in medication errors overall and a 94 percent decrease in medication errors that adversely impacted patient outcomes.

"This regulation will have a significant positive impact on the practice of pharmacy in California by enabling pharmacists to spend more time in direct patient care activities designed to improve medication safety," said Shane. "Hopefully, this will assist other states who are considering allowing technicians to check medication cassettes as well."

Source: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Explore further: Experts call for higher exam pass marks to close performance gap between international and UK medical graduates

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Novo Nordisk pays $26.7 million to settle claims

Jun 11, 2011

Danish drug company Novo Nordisk has agreed to pay $25 million to settle allegations that it promoted the misuse of blood clotting drug NovoSeven, the US Justice Department announced Friday.

Premature aging seen as issue for AIDS survivors

Jun 11, 2011

(AP) -- Having survived the first and worst years of the AIDS epidemic, when he was losing three friends to the disease in a day and undergoing every primitive, toxic treatment that then existed, Peter Greene ...

Chasing EHEC with the computer

Jun 10, 2011

Just a few genes make enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) extremely dangerous to humans. If it were not for these genes, EHEC would hardly differ from harmless enteric bacteria. Bioinformatics scientists from t ...

Hospitals hunt substitutes as drug shortages rise

May 30, 2011

(AP) -- A growing shortage of medications for a host of illnesses - from cancer to cystic fibrosis to cardiac arrest - has hospitals scrambling for substitutes to avoid patient harm, and sometimes even delaying treatment.

Recommended for you

What are the chances that your dad isn't your dad?

Apr 16, 2014

How confident are you that the man you call dad is really your biological father? If you believe some of the most commonly-quoted figures, you could be forgiven for not being very confident at all. But how ...

New technology that is revealing the science of chewing

Apr 15, 2014

CSIRO's 3D mastication modelling, demonstrated for the first time in Melbourne today, is starting to provide researchers with new understanding of how to reduce salt, sugar and fat in food products, as well ...

After skin cancer, removable model replaces real ear

Apr 11, 2014

(HealthDay)—During his 10-year struggle with basal cell carcinoma, Henry Fiorentini emerged minus his right ear, and minus the hearing that goes with it. The good news: Today, the 56-year-old IT programmer ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Vietnam battles fatal measles outbreak

Vietnam is scrambling to contain a deadly outbreak of measles that has killed more than 100 people, mostly young children, and infected thousands more this year, the government said Friday.

Continents may be a key feature of Super-Earths

Huge Earth-like planets that have both continents and oceans may be better at harboring extraterrestrial life than those that are water-only worlds. A new study gives hope for the possibility that many super-Earth ...

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...