Inpatient Pharmacy Technician III
Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin
In middle school, a teacher told Barrett Mand, CPhT, he was “the least likely to succeed" in his class. As a result of this comment and others like it, Barrett spent years lacking motivation and confidence. He settled for a repetitive job in a printing company, and by age 23, he had accrued more than $60,000 in debt. One day he overheard older coworkers lamenting the decades they’d worked in the same dead-end position. The conversation struck a nerve for Barrett, and he immediately changed course, setting out to prove he could accomplish what nobody expected of him.
Barrett found employment as a pharmacy technician, paid off debt, and attended community college where he earned a 4.0 GPA while tutoring students in pharmacology and chemistry. He was employed by Walgreens, Western Arizona Regional Medical Center, and St. Agnes Hospital before landing at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network where he works today as an Inpatient Pharmacy Technician. He is also a biochemistry major at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is thinking of pursuing a medical degree, possibly with a specialty in anesthesiology. “I hope my story might inspire some people who feel the world is against them,” says Barrett. “The key is to find and pursue opportunities. Ignore the obstacles and naysayers.”
PTCB-Certified for 6 years, Barrett says, “PTCB Certification demonstrates my knowledge and commitment. It’s the mark of professionalism that many employers desire, and it aids me in staying up-to-date on the profession overall.” His role at Froedtert requires him to fill and manage automated dispensing machines (ADMs), aseptically compound IV medications under USP <797> guidelines, triage phone calls and medication fills, perform tech-check-tech on dispensed first-dose and cart-fill medications, and mentor new employees. He participates on multiple committees to improve nursing satisfaction, ADM par levels, and build morale. He assists oral and infused prior authorization teams and outpatient pharmacies.
Beyond these roles, Barrett goes the extra mile to ensure patients receive the treatments they need. When a pharmaceutical company initiated a patient assistance program that relied on patients afflicted with cerebral palsy, spastic quadriplegia, and other conditions to submit an explanation of benefits from insurance companies, Barrett realized this requirement was unduly burdensome for the population being served. He taught himself about bill coding and found documents in the electronic health records system to submit with patient permission. He networked up to program managers and the legal team to gain approval of his idea. Soon after initiating a pilot program, the pharmacy achieved an annual savings of $250,000 for their patients.
Barrett says he wants to find new ways to build morale among technicians and improve training and advancement within his pharmacy. He is investigating methods to unite employers with education programs statewide. With pharmacists now prescribing medications, Barrett hopes to identify a way to combine the appointment-based pharmacy model with medication therapy management, medication alignment, and community needs. “This will allow for a better pharmacist relationship with patients and promote medication adherence,” he says.
Barrett has earned the ASHP Best in Practice Award, is a Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin member, and is certified by the Wisconsin Pharmacy Quality Collaborative. He volunteers for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin as well as the Medical College of Wisconsin and Active Student Emergency Response Teams at UW-Milwaukee. He was Co-President of the Pre-Healthcare Club at UW-Fond du Lac, is a certified children’s vision screener, and helped write an abstract, “Biphasic Reduction of Serum Potassium in Patients Receiving Potassium-Free Replacement Fluid During Continuous Veno-Venous Hemofiltration (CVVH),” that will be published in the 2017 Critical Care Medicine.
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