You’ll see more opportunities for tech-check-tech...as technicians are encouraged to practice at the top of their license.
This “technician product verification” can help techs cover more operational functions...and allow pharmacists to focus more on clinical services. BOTH are essential to good patient care.
Use strategies to boost accuracy when taking on tech-check-tech responsibilities.
Get in a mental “no interruption” zone. Distractions and interruptions can increase the risk of errors.
Look at the actual product first...then what’s called for. Starting from a different vantage point can reduce bias, or seeing what you expect to see.
For example, look at the med pulled to fill an automated dispensing cabinet (ADC)...then look at the pick list to match it.
Limit communication with the tech who pulled the med...to keep them from planting an idea of what they used in your mind.
Start from scratch when checking a calculation...so you’re less likely to duplicate someone else’s mistake.
Make sure all aspects of what you’re checking are correct.
For instance, when reviewing a med for a patient’s bin, check med name, strength, and dosage form...and beyond-use or expiration date. Also ensure it’s the right quantity...for the right patient.
Plus inspect meds for damage, such as a smeared or torn label.
If your pharmacy has checklists for tech-check-tech, use them to help you follow a standard process.
If there aren’t any checklists, work with your team to create them. Post checklists in locations where techs check each other’s work...so they’re easily seen and used.
Follow your state laws and pharmacy policies. For example, some pharmacies require a pharmacist to check high-alert meds...and states may require monitoring of accuracy for tech-check-tech.
For more tips on improving dispensing accuracy, get our resource, Preventing Med Errors.
- Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2019 Jan 25;76(3):148-152
- Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2020 Feb 19;77(5):386-400
- https://www.ashp.org/pharmacy-technicians/about-pharmacy-technicians/advanced-pharmacy-technician-roles/tech-check-technician (4-28-23)
- Technician Tutorial: Preventing Med Errors