Providing adequate and comprehensive training on a new service can ensure both a successful implementation and greater staff involvement in that intervention.
Because community pharmacies can appear somewhat homogeneous to patients, providing excellent service can be a factor that sets or differentiates a particular pharmacy from others. However, implementing a new service can be challenging for pharmacists and technicians alike, as offering a new service can impact pharmacy workflow. Successful implementation of a new intervention or service requires a high level of involvement from pharmacy staff, including technicians.
A recent Tip of the Week discussed the importance and benefits of facilitating engagement with pharmacy employees.1 Providing adequate and comprehensive training on a new service can ensure both a successful implementation and greater staff involvement in that intervention.
In a study conducted by Corelli et al., the effects of extensive and intensive training on staff were noted and compared with minimal training.2 In a randomized study conducted among 20 California-based supermarket chain pharmacies, technician roles were expanded to include involvement in facilitating a short-term smoking cessation intervention. The pharmacies were divided into 2 groups to receive either minimal training, which contained only written material, or to receive intensive training, which included written training material, plus live training with coaching and active monitoring by the pharmacy management.
After the training, the number of smoking cessation interventions was documented over a period of 12 weeks. The researchers noted that 100% of technicians who received intensive training reported at least 1 smoking cessation intervention, while only 62% of technicians who received minimal training reported at least 1 intervention. In addition, 100% of technicians who received intensive training rated their ability to interact with patients about smoking cessation as good to excellent, compared to 73.9% of technicians who received minimal training.2
This study clearly shows that technicians can be well equipped to provide public health-related services, such as smoking cessation, after proper role definition and training. It also shows that adequate and adequate training would have a positive effect on both the success rate of the new service and the level of employee engagement. Pharmacy managers should try to maximize staff engagement with a new service by providing coaching and mentoring, live training and active monitoring to drive success.
Additional information on managing people and implementing value-added services can be found in Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 5e.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Sina Hossein is a PharmD candidate at Touro University California College of Pharmacy.
Shane P. Desselle, PhD, is a professor of social and behavioral pharmacy at Touro University California College of Pharmacy.
1. Woodyard AP, Dessele SP. Tip of the week: Facilitate the involvement of pharmacy employees. Pharmacy Times. https://www.pharmacytimes.com/view/tip-of-the-week-facilitate-engagement-among-pharmacy-staff.
2. Corelli RL, Merchant KR, Hilts KE, et al. Involvement of community pharmacy technicians in the delivery of brief smoking cessation interventions: results of a randomized trial. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2021;doi:10.1016/j.sapharm.2021.09.001