Using Clinical Pharmacy Support Technicians: CONSIDERATIONS IN IMPLEMENTING A CPST PROGRAM

Data Collection

A CPST program can be implemented in almost any practice setting where a pharmacist performs patient care activities. Each institution must determine the best utilization of its resources and should consider a number of factors when implementing such a program.

First, there is limited information to date on the activities that CPSTs have successfully performed. The available literature on the performance of nontraditional activities by pharmacy technicians is scant and does not provide detailed descriptions. Therefore, institutions wishing to initiate a CPST program must be prepared to conduct research about their own staff and their daily workloads to determine the best use of the technicians. Second, most of the CPST duties will be assigned according to the overall capabilities and skills of the candidates. The candidate must be familiar with the institution’s drug- distribution processes and must be enthusiastic about taking on new roles. Because the duties involved are new responsibilities for technicians, a formal training program may be required. Third, maintaining consistency of services is important. An adequate number of CPSTs must be available for coverage of services, including sick calls and holidays. In addition, training and procedures should be consistent, to ensure that the CPSTs can perform their duties consistently, thus allowing for seamless rotation of pharmacists and technicians. Efficiencies would be lost if a transition period were required with staff changes at the beginning of every week. Finally, formalized procedures and protocols are necessary to ensure standardization of the services delivered by CPSTs. These procedures and protocols must be updated and disseminated regularly according to the tasks, activities, and challenges identified in the program.

When a CPST program is implemented in a department where technicians represent the majority of the pharmacy team, it is important to promote the new roles as an opportunity for professional growth for experienced members. During this era of developments in technician training and certification standards, the perception of a tiered technician system may generate animosity among staff performing strictly distribution-related duties. A focus on the CPST position as an opportunity for career advancement is one way of maintaining positive team dynamics in the pharmacy department. levitra professional


Pharmacy technicians with additional training and support in the clinical area increase the work efficiency of pharmacists in the ICU, thereby making it possible to extend pharmacy services in direct patient care to a larger number of patients during the pharmacists’ work day.

Category: Main

Tags: Clinical Pharmacy, CONSIDERATIONS, Data Collection, Support Technicians

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