An environmental scan of medication history technician programs within the Veterans Health Administration

Academic Article


  • Purpose. Results of a study to identify medication history technician (MHT) programs within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and to evaluate the personnel, structure, and scope of such programs are reported. Methods. Specially trained pharmacy technicians can take accurate patient medication histories and contribute to the medication reconciliation process. An environmental scan of MHT programs within VHA was conducted via an email query of pharmacy personnel. Semistructured interviews of personnel at each responding site (an MHT, a pharmacist, or both) were conducted. Results. Ten VHA sites had existing MHT programs; the earliest was initiated in 2010. Sites employed from 1 to 4 MHTs, who most commonly worked in the inpatient setting (7 sites). At most sites (9), MHTs obtained a “best possible medication history” through systematic collection of medication information using 2 reliable sources, such as patients, caregivers, and medical records. Survey respondents at all sites reported benefits of MHT programs, including dedicated time to obtain medication histories, allowing for more effective use of pharmacists’ time. Six sites were eager to increase the reach of their programs. MHT training, oversight, and quality assurance varied across the sites. The survey results indicated that there are opportunities nationally—within and outside VHA—to develop standardized training, competency assessments, and quality assurance measures for MHT programs. Conclusion. Ten VHA sites with MHT programs were identified. MHTs most commonly worked in inpatient settings as part of admission medication reconciliation processes.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Presley CA; Byerly SH; Aylor AR; Mixon AS
  • Start Page

  • 44
  • End Page

  • 49
  • Volume

  • 76
  • Issue

  • 1