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Reduction of Medication Errors Associated With Pharmacy Technician Certification

WASHINGTON, June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Results from a recent Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) sponsored survey find that lead pharmacists perceive pharmacy technician certification as an essential component in reducing medication errors, ensuring patient safety, and increasing positive health outcomes. The results, unveiled at the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Annual Meeting in March 2010 by researcher Shane Desselle, R.Ph., PhD, FAPhA, Associate Dean for Tulsa Programs, Chair, and Professor of the Department of Pharmacy: Clinical and Administrative Sciences at University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy, were gathered from a random sample of over 3,250 pharmacists serving in a variety of practice settings across the United States.

"The data show that the majority of pharmacists--in fact, over 80 percent of those surveyed--agree that pharmacy technician certification is associated with a reduction in medication errors," said Melissa Murer Corrigan, R.Ph., Executive Director and CEO of PTCB. "This survey provides the data to support something we have known for years but are now able to quantify: well-trained and PTCB certified pharmacy technicians make a positive impact on patient care."

The survey, administered by Drs. Shane Desselle and Michael Schmitt of the University of Oklahoma College Of Pharmacy, show that pharmacists recognize the value of Certified Pharmacy Technicians (CPhTs) as part of the pharmacy team, with 83 percent agreeing that working with CPhTs allows pharmacists to spend more time on direct patient care.

"Pharmacists recognize how important it is to be able to rely on well-trained and certified pharmacy technicians as a means to spend more time focusing on patient care and safety," said Dr. Desselle.

As the population ages and medication regimens become more complex, patient-centered care will play an important role in facilitating safe medication practice. Pharmacy technician positions are expected to increase by 25 percent by 2018 to meet this demand. Pharmacy technicians assist pharmacists in dispensing medications and are accountable to the supervising pharmacist who is legally responsible through state licensure for the care and safety of patients served by the pharmacy.

Source: Pharmacy Technician Certification Board

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