SPOKANE, Wash.—The Washington State University (WSU) College of Pharmacy, with permission from the Idaho Board of Pharmacy, is working to expand access to health services in Idaho.

The state of Idaho passed a law in March that allows pharmacy technicians in Idaho to administer immunizations as long as they have been trained. WSU College of Pharmacy’s Kimberly McKeirnan with faculty colleagues Kyle Frazier and Linda Garrelts-MacLean developed a training program to teach pharmacy technicians how to administer immunizations.

McKeirnan and her team received a $5,800 grant from Albertsons Companies, LLC to develop and deliver the four-hour professional education program, which is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). The training was offered in Spokane and Boise.

“We trained 25 technicians in December and plan to collect data on how many immunizations they give between now and May 2017,” said McKeirnan. More training is planned for other technicians in Idaho who are interested.

“This will hopefully have significant impact on community pharmacy practice,” she said.

The data collected will be used to show how expanding the number of health professionals trained to immunize patients can increase immunization rates, better utilize the skills of pharmacy technicians, and ease the time burden on pharmacists, said McKeirnan.

Research at the WSU College of Pharmacy supports the university’s land-grant mission to address some of society’s most complex issues, specifically WSU’s efforts surrounding developing practical solutions to challenging problems in health care delivery, health care access and disease prevention.

[Lori J. Maricle] 3/31/17