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Pharmacy Practice Environment

Effective Practice Environment

In 2014, TPA started down the path of working to address the workplace challenges faced by our pharmacists. This path lead us to the Effective Practice Environment Initiative. Through this initiative TPA has established several avenues by which we will seek to reshape the existing working environment found in the community practice, much of which has resulted from the lower and lower reimbursement rates that is forcing many pharmacies to struggle to make a profit. One of the avenues that TPA choose to pursue was to seek a legislative prohibition on pharmacists working more than 12 consecutive hours in the practice of pharmacy. While this avenue meet significant resistance in the Texas Capitol, it is not the only path that TPA is pursing to address many of these issues.

 

Click here to view TPA’s draft legislation.

 

Timeline 

  • April, 2015 – Responding to the growing frequency of comments from members, TPA conducts eight meetings in Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, McAllen, San Antonio and Tyler, Texas.  While several issues were common at all meetings, the most visible issue was working conditions.
  • April, 2015 – Pharmacy Workforce Center issues a report on working conditions and quality of work life of pharmacists during 2014.  Comparing 2009 to 2014 results, it was noted that even though the percentage of time spent in each activity did not change much between 2014 and 2009, an average of 35.3% of the respondents in community pharmacy settings indicated that the amount of time spent over the last year in patient care services not associated with medication dispensing was much more.
  • May, 2015 – Based on Focus Group discussions, TPA develops on-line survey distributed to over 6,000 Texas pharmacists in all practice settings.   40.5% of the respondents were Community-Chain and 22.2% were Community-Independent.  Key findings included:  Administrative tasks were among the top 3 issues that impact a pharmacist’s interaction with patients.  These included areas such as insurance issues, payment and reimbursement problems, various reports, etc.  Also, staffing issues are the number one challenge impacting pharmacist’s job satisfaction.
  • January, 2016 - Public Policy Council approved recommendation to the TPA Board of Directors. TPA Board of Directors reviews information and discusses next steps. 
  • February, 2016 – Task Force on Working Conditions formed.  Members include pharmacists from multiple practice types, including chain, independent, academia and health-system.
  • April, 2016 – Task Force meets.
  • May, 2016 – TPA Board of Directors meets and reviews Task Force report and recommendations.
  • June, 2016 – Task Force Report to Membership developed.
  • July, 2016 – Working Conditions Report and Recommendations distributed at TPA Conference & Expo.
  • August – December, 2016 – Discussions with other pharmacy groups.  Drafting begins on legislative language.  January, 2016 – despite lack of support from other pharmacy groups, TPA seeks bill sponsor for 2017 Legislative Session.

Working Environment of Pharmacy Recommendations

TPA is considering ways to better utilize properly trained and experienced technicians. In doing so, technicians can help to alleviate the amount of menial work placed on a pharmacist, thereby increasing the pharmacist’s ability to focus on their patient’s safety, in addition to providing a path to maintaining the morale of technicians and the institutional knowledge they have.

 

Fatigue is a serious concern impacting the pharmacist’s ability to safely carrying out their duties. There have been numerous surveys and findings that indicate that pharmacist fatigue is leading to an increased risk for dispensing errors. To address this risk we recommend that TPA pursue statutory and/or rule changes that state that a pharmacist shall not work more than a twelve hour shift followed by no less than eight hours between scheduled duty periods. In addition, pharmacist shall take a minimum of two fifteen minute breaks within a twelve hour shift.

 

Education Recommendations

TPA is considering the following recommendations to provide educational opportunities to pharmacists related to inter- and intra- professional team skills and management training to encourage participation in teams.

 

The Board of Directors adopt “Best Practices for Pharmacy”, to include areas addressing:

  • Best Practices for communicating information
  • Best Practices for pharmacy technicians
  • Best Practices for new practitioner pharmacists, including serving as a P.I.C.

 

Quick Links

Saving Lives Initiative

 

Innovative Practice Development Initiative

 

Effective Practice Environment Initiative 

 

Medicaid MTM Pilot
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