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Certified pharmacy technicians' views on their medication preparation errors and educational needs.

Research paper by Shane P SP Desselle

Indexed on: 22 Sep '05Published on: 22 Sep '05Published in: American journal of health-system pharmacy : AJHP : official journal of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists



Abstract

The perceptions of certified pharmacy technicians about their medication preparation errors and educational needs were studied.A nationwide random sample of 3200 certified pharmacy technicians was mailed a survey with open-ended questions soliciting information about how pharmacists have handled and should handle technicians' medication preparation errors. The participants were also asked about their training needs and continuing-education preferences.A total of 1004 responses (31.4%) were obtained, of which 835 were analyzed. Of the respondents, 44% reported working in chain community pharmacies and 27% in hospital pharmacies. The factors perceived to contribute most to technicians' medication preparation errors were interruptions and inadequate staffing. Pharmacists' most frequent response to an error was to make the technician aware of it and require him or her to correct it. Only about 17% of the respondents indicated that the pharmacist used the error as an opportunity to provide instruction on how to avoid future errors.A nationwide sample of certified pharmacy technicians ranked interruptions and inadequate staffing as the factors contributing most to their medication preparation errors.