Six Ways to Increase Your Accuracy as a Pharmacy Technician
by Marisa Doan, CPhT
What is accuracy? Freedom from mistake or error.
There are various ways to increase your accuracy as a pharmacy technician and various websites to help you in the long run. Being a certified pharmacy technician for over 11 years, I have had to learn different ways to help through the day.
The ways I learned to increase accuracy are:
- Prioritize: Those who know how it is being the opening technician. Once you get signed into the system, you notice there are already 50+ in assembly, 50+ in data entry, three or four customers already waiting, and the phone is ringing off the hook. That is when you must decide on what needs to be done first.
I would take care of the waiters first, then work down the list until I can get to a manageable point or until help arrives. But in some cases, this might not always happen.
- Time Management: Make sure you manage your time. Sometimes you may get caught up doing something, like calling a patient insurance or trying to figure something out and time slips away.
Trust me, I have been on that side before. If it’s something that you know you can take care of quickly, take care of it, but if it’s something that will take a little time, set it aside and work on it later, especially if it’s not something that doesn’t need to be done immediately.
- Avoid Clutter: One of my biggest things is clutter, and I always try to make sure I have a clean workspace free of bottles, papers, and other stuff. Personally, I can’t function with a lot of stuff around me because I believe that something will happen (Ex: misfill).
I usually take the time to put up and throw away what doesn’t need to be there. Another thing, I also don’t do a pick list only because that causes clutter with all that medication everywhere. I usually take what I need off the shelf and put it back when I’m done to avoid any clutter.
- Pause: Sometimes, as technicians, things can get very overwhelming, and you need a break. If you must pause for a minute or two, please do. If I feel like I’m getting overwhelmed or stressed, I pause and take a break.
I know that not everyone has this opportunity because everything is constant, but mentally it is needed even if you stop, take a couple of deep breaths, and get back to work. At least give yourself a break for a brief moment.
- Slowing Down: When you are in your daily grove of filling and typing prescriptions, sometimes we get in a hurry, type the wrong medication or directions, or put it under the wrong patient profile. Take the time to slow down and look over everything. I have caught several occasions where someone copied sig and didn’t read through it, and it didn’t make any sense.
This is the time to slow down. Accuracy means a lot. After all, you run the risk of filling something wrong, entering something under the wrong patient, or possibly overdosing a child because you were in a hurry and didn’t slow down to make sure everything was correct.
- Workflow: Also, make sure you have a good workflow. Make sure to have a workflow where you and your co-workers work together to get a job done. This is one of the key elements that can make or break you.
If you are working together as a team, things can go smoothly, but having that slacker in the group who refuses to do anything makes your day a lot harder. But either way, this can be handled in many ways.
I chose a personal approach for this piece. Working as a pharmacy technician for 11 years, I constantly learn new things every day and learn how to deal with day-to-day situations.
Some work out for good, and others don’t.
I always tell myself, “I GOT THIS.” I have come too far to give up or let things bother me. I know you can make yourself a personal checklist of things you can do to improve your accuracy, as not everyone will be the same, but for the most part, we can relate in some shape, form, or fashion.
Lastly, there are also many other websites that can give you more information on improving your accuracy, such as: