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HealthMay 31, 2023

Reduce the impact of pharmacy staff shortages on patient care

The nationwide pharmacy technician shortage is impacting hospitals, retail, and community pharmacies, with many facing double-digit vacancy rates. This issue may not be new, but it has been exacerbated by COVID and recently validated by a joint survey conducted by ASHP and PTCB.In many pharmacies, the staff that are left are doing more work to pick up the load – or in some cases pharmacists, students and residents are filling in the gaps of traditional technician work. The effort to maintain USP compliance will only increase once the USP updates are finalized by doubling the competency frequency and increasing the surface sampling requirements to monthly. With the heavy workload and alternate staff covering additional responsibilities, they may not be as proficient in workflows that support compliance creating wider gaps and exposing pharmacies to risks in compliance.

Compliance provides the foundation of all pharmacy activities. Essentia Health has leveraged Simplifi 797 to monitor compliance as well as help their teams focus during these challenging times.

We view our compliance program as the core of what we do, so that no matter where a patient encounters our system, they can be confident in the care they receive
David Sperl, PharmD, Senior Director, Acute Pharmacy at Essentia Health
Simplifi 797 has helped the Essentia pharmacy team keep an eye on compliance remotely when leaders were working from home. On the front lines, by standardizing tasks in Simplifi 797, new staff have a clear expectation of what needs to get done each day, week and month. In fact, this actually frees up pharmacy trainers to spend more time on more complex training components and has relieved some training fatigue for their team. 
To help address the pharmacy technician staffing challenges, over one-third of pharmacy employers implemented an internal technician training program in the last two years. In a recent webinar, Lilit Smith, PharmD, MBA, Manager of Home Infusion Services at Baptist Health South Florida shared how her health system partnered with a local pharmacy technician program to develop competency compounding technicians. BHSF employees can also enroll in the program to progress their skills and cross over into compounding roles.

Learn more by accessing the article below. 
Annie Lambert
Clinical Program Manager for Compliance Solutions
Compliance Solution Clinical Program Manager Annie Lambert, PharmD, BCSCP is committed to providing up-to-date USP content and expert compliance guidance, and to work with you to optimize the use of our Simplifi+ pharmacy compliance solutions.
Simplifi 797®

Take the guesswork out of USP medication compounding compliance with a customizable, mobile, evidence-based solution.

Simplifi 797 provides the latest evidence-based guidance and helps navigate the complex USP Chapters 795, 797 and 800 processes to ensure inspection confidence and keep patients and staff safe.
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