The Role Of The Pharmacy Technician in Medication Management
by Kizzi Perry, CPhT
If you asked a pharmacy technician this question, you would probably get a few different answers. I asked a few pharmacy technicians, and this is what they had to say:
“Assist the patient in making sure they are compliant with their medications” Sandy S. RPT, CPhT - Florida
“Fill patient’s medications to help them maintain a longer life” Breanna M. RPT CPhT - Florida
“I never really thought about it. I love to help people stay healthy.” Mike W. RPT CPhT - Florida
The pharmacy technician plays many roles when it comes to managing a patient medication. The technician must first know and understand what medication management is, why it is important, the benefits to the patient, the pharmacy, and the third parties (also known as insurance companies), and what information is needed for the process.
The pharmacy technician assists with identifying the patient(s) who needs or have medication management opportunities. It is the pharmacy technician’s job to make sure the information in a patient’s profile is up-to-date, such as a patient’s name, address, telephone number, any known drug allergies, medical conditions, emergency contacts, insurance, and if the patient is taking any other medications such as vitamins, OTC's or prescriptions being filled at another pharmacy.
Once all the patient's demographics and medical information have been updated, the pharmacy technician then works on the patient’s medication list for any duplicate orders, discontinue medications no longer being taken by the patient, making sure current medications have active refills, and if they don’t contact the patient’s physician for refills* The pharmacy technician then starts compiling information from the patient’s medication list via the patient's profile. The pharmacy technician then puts information on a chart or list for review with the pharmacist.
The pharmacy technician then contacts the patient asking the patient if they would like a pharmacist to review their medication list. Suppose the patient agrees to the medication review. In that case, the pharmacy technician then informs the patient that all their current prescription medications, supplements, and OTC medications that they're taking are available so that when the pharmacist calls, they can provide them with the most accurate review. Once the pharmacy technician gets off the phone with the patient, the technician documents information into the patient's profile.
It is also the responsibility of the pharmacy technician to bill the patient’s third party for the patient's prescriptions medications, That’s, if the patient has any insurance. Currently, many third parties require the patient to obtain 90 day fills or mail orders only, whichever direction the third party gives. It is important to communicate that information to the patient and the physician's office so the patient's therapy is not interrupted. The patient stays compliant in taking their medications.
The roles of the pharmacy technician and medication management are important in all aspects of the patient’s therapy. Knowing your role as a pharmacy technician helps the patients live and maintain a much happier and longer life.
*(This may vary from state to state, so please know the law in your state.)