Data analyst role for pharmacy technicians supports drug utilization systems

A new role of pharmacy technician (TDA) data analyst could help support a safe and efficient drug use system in pharmacy, according to a case study presented at the mid-year 2021 conference of the ‘American Society of Health-System Pharmacist. In the study, investigators observed that by elevating technicians to advanced analytical roles, pharmacies could develop user-friendly data collection and analysis tools.

In the healthcare system studied in the report, the Drug Utilization Strategy Team (MUST) is responsible for implementing a safe, efficient, and inexpensive drug utilization system. The MUST should support the mission and vision of the pharmacy department and consists of 5 pharmacists, including 1 managerial position, 1 dedicated technician and 1 ADT. The role of TDA was developed in order to allow technicians to practice at the peak of their license, as well as to increase efficiency in the decision-making process.

A new role for ADT noted by investigators was the development, implementation, and maintenance of data collection methods to streamline the inventory management process around non-formulary drugs. Additionally, TDA would develop and report real-time drug utilization data with the aim of alleviating drug shortages and identifying potential areas for cost savings.

According to investigators, with a better understanding of the nuances of drug reporting systems and data, TDA is able to leverage its pharmacy base and computer literacy to improve data reporting methods.

After these initial positive results, the role of ADT remained under review to assess how it can be extended and improved. In addition, a needs assessment identified potential opportunities for expanding the role, including the development of a robust database on pharmaceutical and therapeutic actions and the provision of data visualization tools for ADT can use them if necessary.

REFERENCE

Spoelhof B, Griggs D, Hubbert MA. The role of a data analyst technician for drug use strategy in a university health system. Presented at: ASHP Midyear 2021. Accessed December 3, 2021.

Sean N. Ayres