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CPhT Connection - April 2013

by Laura Humphrey | Apr 09, 2013

April 2013


Like PTCB Once Again on Facebook and Rejoin Your Community
PTCB's Facebook page was hit by a bug in mid-March and we lost more than 34,000 members of our Facebook community. While you may have Liked our page before, we invite you to hit that Like button again. As we rebuild this online community, we want to be sure you are part of it. Please take a second to Like PTCB on Facebook today and get back to connecting with employers, educators, and other pharmacy technicians while receiving the latest PTCB updates, reminders, and announcements.

PTCB Announces New Certification Program Changes: Submit Your Comments Online
PTCB has announced future changes to the PTCB Certification Program. These changes will advance pharmacy technician qualifications by elevating PTCB’s standards for national certification and recertification. During the next seven years, PTCB will phase in mandatory background checks, accredited education requirements, and modifications to CE requirements for recertification. You are invited to submit comments regarding best practices for implementing the changes.

PTCB Launches New Website
PTCB has launched our new website at The site now offers free verifications for the public, and better access to information for first-time candidates and pharmacy technicians due to recertify or reinstate. New resources include:

  • Online, printable certificates and score reports. CPhTs can download free digital copies of certificates and PTCE score reports directly from their new PTCB Accounts (formerly MyPTCB).
  • Free certification verifications. Online verifications are free for everyone, with more flexible search criteria.
  • New policies. PTCB strives to maintain comprehensive, fair certification policies. PTCB has a new Privacy Policy and new Recertification Policy effective February 4.

March Recertification Deadline Extended Until April 30
Certified Pharmacy Technicians (CPhTs) due to recertify by March 31, 2013 have automatically been granted an additional 30 days, until April 30, to submit their recertification applications. PTCB's Customer Service is available to assist CPhTs as needed with applications and updates to PTCB Accounts in our new system. PTCB’s one-month deadline extension is offered in response to delays we encountered in the launch of our new site. It is automatic for March 2013 recertificants. Note that this group will be expected to recertify by March 31, 2015 in the next two-year cycle, not by April 30, 2015.

Encourage Your Educator To Enroll in PTCB's Sponsorship System
PTCB has launched an online sponsorship system for Advocate Educators. Since February 1, more than 70 Advocate Educators have joined this system. As sponsors, Advocate Educators enjoy an online process for identifying eligible candidates and making payments to sponsor students to take the PTCE. Encourage your educator to visit to enroll in PTCB's sponsorship system for Advocate Educators.


Jahara Russell, CPhT

Check out the April CPhT Spotlight on Jahara Russell, CPhT, Lead Pharmacy Technician for Transition of Care at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. Jahara has always been interested in how the body reacts and responds to medications, so she jumped at the initial opportunity to become a hospital pharmacy technician six years ago. “I feel especially useful when it comes to my uninsured patients,” she says of her role today as a lead pharmacy technician. “Putting them in our assistance program or setting them up with a social worker to obtain medications at no cost is the most rewarding part of what I do.”

Nominate a CPhT Spotlight
Do you or someone you know continually demonstrate excellence as a pharmacy technician? Each month, PTCB highlights one select CPhT whose dedication to patient safety and embodiment of innovation within the pharmacy profession make him or her an example for others. If you or someone you know exemplifies these characteristics, please email us at to request information on being featured as a future CPhT Spotlight.

Executive Director McAllister Presents PTCB’s New Certification Requirements
PTCB Executive Director and CEO Everett B. McAllister, MPA, RPh, spoke on March 3 at PTCB’s forum at the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Annual Meeting & Exposition 2013 in Los Angeles. He explained PTCB’s decision to elevate certification requirements to meet the demands of the evolving healthcare system. He told the audience, "We have made bold decisions on what will be required for candidates to become certified. Our Board of Governors is sharply focused on ensuring that the PTCB Program prepares CPhTs for the integral roles they play in supporting pharmacists in all practice settings.”

Transitions of Care Highlighted in PTCB Session
PTCB recently presented a session on providing safe medication management at the point of patient transition. This program at the APhA Annual Meeting and Exposition 2013 in Los Angeles featured Jahara Russell, CPhT, telling her story of “Caring for the Patient as an Outpatient.” (Jahara is featured in this month’s CPhT Spotlight.) The session provided insight for pharmacy teams on effective roles for pharmacy technicians.

PTCB on the Road 
Come see us! PTCB is working with educators, employers, boards of pharmacy, and state/national organizations as we prepare to implement changes in our certification requirements. PTCB announced these changes on February 28, and we are asking for feedback from pharmacy technicians, pharmacists, and interested stakeholders across the country during open forums. You are invited to the following sessions:

  1. Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin Educational Conference on April 18 in Madison, WI 
  2. North Dakota Pharmacists Association Annual Convention on April 26 in Dickinson, ND 
  3. Texas Society of Health- System Pharmacists 2014 Annual Meeting on April 27 in Austin, TX

PTCB recently presented the PTCB certification program changes in live sessions at the South Carolina Society of Health-System Pharmacists 2013 Annual Meeting in Charleston on March 24 and 25; the California Pharmacists Association West Coast Pharmacy Exchange on March 17 in Monterey; and the American Pharmacists Annual Meeting and Exposition 2013 in Los Angeles on March 3. After each presentation, PTCB entertained comments from our audience on best practices for implementing the new changes.

PTEC 2013 Annual Conference
The Pharmacy Technician Educators Council (PTEC) 2013 Annual Conference will take place July 11-13 in San Diego. Attendees will have the opportunity to build professional networks, collect resources for the classroom, learn about ASHP accreditation, and gain insight from educators while earning ACPE-accredited CE.


PTCB and ASHP Offer New CE on Transitions of Care
PTCB has partnered with ASHP to launch a new CE program on Transitions of Care. This program was planned to meet the needs of pharmacy technicians in a variety of practice settings, and is especially beneficial for technicians interested in assisting the pharmacy team with transitions of care services on both the inpatient and outpatient sides. Under Medicare's Inpatient Prospective Payment System, as included in the Affordable Care Act, adjustments to payments will now be imposed for excessive readmissions in acute care hospitals during fiscal years beginning on or after October 1, 2012. This one hour online course consists of audio, slides, an assessment, and a course evaluation.

Mark Your Calendar
The 2013 Joint Forces Pharmacy Seminar (JFPS) will take place October 20-24 in Orlando, FL. JFPS is the largest annual event for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard pharmacy community. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians from the active duty, reserve, and retired communities, as well as civilian pharmacists and pharmacy technicians assigned to Department of Defense facilities are invited to participate in this education-filled event. Watch for future updates on the JFPS conference website.

CE Available on Strategies for Improving Immunization Rates
Heath systems are challenged with implementation of effective vaccination programs. Core measures from both the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and The Joint Commission now evaluate hospitals on their pneumococcal and influenza immunization offers and rates. Learn about this topic through this CE course, available until December 1, 2013. 

Visit the PTCB's home page for updates on new CE programs.