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Pharmacy Technicians' Perceptions of Risk Reduction Strategies Implemented in Response to the Repetitive Strain Injury Associated with Sterile Compounding

Author(s):  Zamani Mazdak, Chan Kayin, Wilcox Julie

Issue:  May/Jun 2021 - Volume 25, Number 3
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Abstract:  Following a 240% increase in the number of compounded sterile preparations between 2012 and 2013, three pharmacy technicians at a metropolitan public hospital suffered hand-related, repetitive strain injuries. This study describes the main safety measures implemented to reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries associated with sterile compounding at the study hospital, and reports pharmacy technicians’ perceptions of their effectiveness. The implemented risk reduction strategies were categorized into five domains of 1) equipment and consumables, 2) training and assessment, 3) Lean waste reduction, 4) roster and shift limits, and 5) workload allocation score. Pharmacy technicians’ feedback was collected through an anonymous survey in 2020, five years after the implementation of all safety measures. Responders rated their perceived effectiveness of each strategy domain using a five-point Likert Scale, ranging from very ineffective to very effective. All pharmacy technicians who had been undertaking aseptic compounding activities for at least one year between 2015 and 2020 were invited to take the survey. The five domains of 1) equipment and consumables, 2) training and assessment, 3) Lean waste reduction, 4) roster and shift limits, and 5) workload allocation score were rated effective or very effective by 86%, 67%, 86%, 57%, and 71% of pharmacy technicians, respectively (n=7). The overall effectiveness of all interventions combined was rated effective or very effective by 72% of the participants. Pharmacy technicians’ feedback indicates the majority perceive the implemented strategies effective in reducing the risk of repetitive strain injuries associated with aseptic compounding.

Related Keywords: Mazdak Zamani, PharmD, MHM, Certificate IV Training & Assessment, Kayin Chan, BPharm, Julie Wilcox, Certificate IV Hospital Pharmacy Technician, pharmacy technicians, compounded sterile preparations, repetitive strain injury, soft-tissue damage, risk reduction, work-related injuries, workplace injury, workplace safety

Related Categories: ENVIRONMENTAL , STERILE PREPARATIONS, MUSCULOSKELETAL DISORDERS, PROFESSIONAL ISSUES, PREVENTIVE MEDICINE/WELLNESS

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