Pharmacy Accuracy Checking Technicians

Health Minister, Jonathan Coleman said in a statement issued yesterday that this new technician role will help free up pharmacists so they can spend more time with patients.

The Society agrees.

“Pharmacy Accuracy Checking Technicians (PACTs) are set to reshape the pharmacy workforce and their planned introduction in the near future will enable pharmacists to have more customer contact time and deliver more extended services for patients such as warfarin monitoring, vaccinations and supply of emergency contraceptive pills,” says Richard Townley, Chief Executive of the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand.

Freeing up pharmacists to work at the top of their scope and work directly with patients to improve health outcomes is entirely consistent with the Ministry of Health’s plans for the pharmacist workforce.

A wider and more patient focused role for pharmacists which makes better use of their excellent training and skills is signalled in a number of the Ministry’s recently released strategies including the Pharmacy Action Plan, Implementing Medicines New Zealand and the New Zealand Health Strategy.

Last year the Society on behalf of Health Workforce New Zealand (HWNZ) undertook the Pharmacy Accuracy Checking Technician Demonstration Site Project to investigate the viability of introducing PACTs into the pharmacy workforce in New Zealand.

The evaluation of the project indicated that the overall impact on quality and patient centred services was rated as fantastic. Some pharmacists reported large increases in patient focused activities for example one went from 16% to 48%.

The evaluation also concluded that the project is suitable for national rollout out in both hospital and community pharmacies.

A framework has been developed to enable the national introduction of PACTs and the Society will be managing the rollout and training for them through its College Education and Training arm.
The Society will be calling for EOI’s shortly for checking technician training, initially from hospital pharmacies, as the first stage of the implementation. Training will begin in the second half of the year.

“This is an exciting initiative with benefits for patients’ health outcomes and the potential for increased job satisfaction for both pharmacists and technicians,” says Richard Townley, Chief Executive.