Eric Piasecki, CPhT
Lancaster General Hospital, Lancaster, PA
Eric Piasecki, CPhT, was employed as a pharmacy technician at the age of 16 when he discovered the work gave him the chance to learn about health care issues, help others, and have a positive impact on patients. Eric became PTCB-certified in 2007, and in 2011, when he received his BA, he was hired at Lancaster General Hospital in Lancaster, PA. Becoming a pharmacy technician, he says, was one of the best choices he’s ever made.
As a Medication History Specialist at the hospital, he finds the most rewarding aspect of his position is, “knowing that my coworkers and I are contributing to the safety of every patient who walks through the hospital door. Equally rewarding is the opportunity to work alongside compassionate and skilled professionals.”
As a teen, he worked at Happy Harry’s Pharmacy in Oxford, PA, and later Walgreens, where he was a senior pharmacy technician covering several stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware as a floater. While attending the University of Richmond, he juggled his employment with a full academic load. Eric says his pharmacy work provided real-life experiences related to topics he was studying in college, such as health care policy. He learned first-hand how his patients’ care was affected by financial issues, or by biases he saw in the dispensing of controlled substances.
When he joined Lancaster General, he made the move from a retail to health system setting. Today he is tasked with interviewing admitted patients and updating electronic medical records with information on medications being taken before admission, allergies, and immunizations. A patient's history provides the foundation for safe medication ordering during the hospital stay and at discharge. If a patient presents with altered mental status, Eric may begin what he calls “real detective work” to find out if the patient’s family assists with medications, or whether the patient fills at a specific pharmacy where he could obtain a refill history. Recently, Eric and coworkers intervened when a patient was ordered a CT with IVP contrast because they uncovered a previous history of anaphylaxis with IVP dye administration.
Lancaster General's Medication History team, comprised of pharmacy technicians and LPNs, also supports quality initiatives including post-op beta blocker surveillance, targeted vaccine administrations, and identification of opportunities to improve pharmacological adherence through pharmacist/provider intervention.
Eric is enrolled in the RN, ADN program at the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences. He has volunteered more than 1,500 hours as a Spanish to English interpreter, pharmacy technician, and medical assistant for organizations providing free care to the working poor. He completed the Walgreens Joslin Center for Diabetes pharmacy technician diabetes education program. He coordinated camper care at the University of Richmond's Camp Kesem for children in families affected by cancer.