Interview with a Board Executive Director

Boards of pharmacy can face unexpected challenges while working to protect the public health. Here, board executive directors talk about how they worked around these obstacles.

Allison Vordenbaumen Benz, MS, RPh, Executive Director/Secretary

Texas State Board of Pharmacy

What is one of the most significant challenges or issues your Board addressed in the past year or so?

After becoming executive director/secretary, the agency initiated a mobile inspection process using tablets instead of paper forms.

What actions were taken by the Board to address the issue?

We contracted with a vendor to implement the mobile inspections. After getting the inspection forms set up online and conducting training, we did several months of field testing to work out any issues or problems with the program. All 12 inspectors are now using the tablets to conduct inspections. The pharmacy community has welcomed the change from paper to electronic documents.

What other key issues has the Board been focusing on?

In 2016, the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) was transferred to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy. The agency has been working to expand and improve the PMP. Prescribers and pharmacists will be required to query the PMP beginning September 1, 2019. In order to improve access to the PMP, the agency is seeking legislative approval to provide statewide integration and utilize NarxCare to analyze all PMP data. In addition, our enforcement program has been working to streamline its processes by eliminating paper files and maintaining records electronically.

What insights do you have for other states that may be facing similar challenges?

Seek out your stakeholders and listen to their suggestions and concerns.

You can also find this interview in the April 2019 edition of Innovations.