Objective: A literature review was conducted to examine how pharmacy students and technicians have been utilized in medication reconciliation processes in an effort to evaluate expanded roles for pharmacy students and technicians. Data were summarized on accuracy of obtaining medication histories, time requirements, discrepancy identification, and cost savings. Limitations and areas for future research also were identified.
Data sources: A search of PubMed, the Cochrane Library, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), and PsycINFO and a manual searching of bibliographies were performed.
Study selection: Articles were included in this literature review if they focused on medication reconciliation with pharmacy student or technician outcomes independent of pharmacist involvement, they are available in English from any country, and the outcomes were empirical.
Data synthesis: Of 2112 identified studies, 32 met the inclusion criteria. The literature review revealed pharmacy technicians or students were involved in several medication reconciliation activities. Trained pharmacy students and technicians were able to obtain thorough medication histories as well as identify medication history discrepancies and take appropriate action to correct these discrepancies. Through the use of pharmacy students and technicians in the medication reconciliation process, hospitals experienced cost savings and other health-care professionals had more time for other patient care activities as well as an increased trust in the accuracy of medication histories.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that pharmacy students and technicians are accurate, time efficient, decrease costs, and provide support to other health-care professionals when they are included in the medication reconciliation process.
Keywords: medication reconciliation; social and administrative sciences; technician.