Community Practice Environment, Fall 2020

Community Practice Environment Initiative: Engaging Patients and Professionals in the Journey towards Guiding Principles

Banner Fall 2020 - Community Practice Environment Initiative
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Earlier this year, the College initiated a Community Practice Environment Initiative aimed at understanding confirmed and potential barriers to the provision of consistently safe and high quality care in community pharmacy through thoughtful, respectful and meaningful collaboration and engagement with pharmacy stakeholders. An important milestone in this work is the development of principles of shared accountability intended to guide the development of specific strategies to further strengthen the quality and safety of pharmacy care, while helping position the profession for ongoing success as pharmacy plays an increasingly important role in the health and wellbeing of Ontarians.


Over the past several months the College has implemented a series of engagement activities with patients and pharmacy professionals to hear from those who receive pharmacy services and those who directly deliver services to their communities about the realities of pharmacy practice in community pharmacies. From focus groups to surveys, the insights gleaned from participants have helped the College, with the support of a multi-disciplinary Advisory Group comprised of patients, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, owners/operators and professional associations, get a better picture of the various perspectives of those most connected to the delivery of pharmacy services in our communities—insights which are leading directly to the development of accountability principles which will both complement and build on established Standards of Operation, standards of practice and the Code of Ethics.


Public/patient focus groups
The College engaged Leger Canada to host a total of 4 focus groups with members of the public, all of them patients of community pharmacies and from diverse backgrounds and representing different patient populations.

Registrant/Owner focus groups
The College also engaged Leger Canada to host a total of 4 focus groups, one each with pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, owners/operators who are also pharmacists and Designated Managers.

Registrant survey
The College deployed a practice environment survey to registrants asking for input on some of the insights received to date through the various engagement activities as well as the earlier jurisdictional scan conducted as part of this initiative.

Summary reports from each of those engagement activities can be found on the College’s website under Key Initiatives > Community Practice Environment Initiative where you can also find summaries of each of the Advisory Group meetings held to date.


The College and Advisory Group discussed how to transform the information and insights gained, along with the information from earlier jurisdictional scans, into principles that will provide a foundation for improving the practice environment and the experience of providing pharmacy services in community pharmacy settings. It was confirmed that the principles will need to be at a level that can be translated to pharmacy-level actions.

The principles are now being drafted and will be presented at an upcoming Board of Directors meeting. Pending endorsement by the Board, the College will move forward with finalizing the principles and then rolling them out across all community pharmacies in the province in the New Year.

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