The College recognizes the extraordinary opportunity to work with broader health system partners to shape and influence high quality and safe pharmacy care and promote good outcomes for patients throughout the province. Over the past several months, the College has established important collaborative relationships with health system organizations as it leverages its regulatory role and public-protection mandate to fulfill its strategic priorities.
DEMONSTRATING VALUE AND OUTCOMES: CREATING A DATA FOUNDATION
To help meet its objective to develop, establish and maintain programs and standards of practice to assure the quality of the practice of the profession, the College is moving towards adopting a systems-based focus that is grounded in quality and measurable patient outcomes. The College is forming new partnerships with health system organizations such as Health Quality Ontario (HQO), the provincial advisor on the quality of healthcare, as it leads the development of a set of consistent quality indicators for pharmacy that can help guide improvements, shape quality pharmacy care and better demonstrate the impact and value of College programs. This work builds on progress already being made through initiatives such as the mandatory medication incident reporting which will roll out across the province later in 2018.
FOCUS ON REGIONAL APPROACHES TO QUALITY
Recognizing that collaboration with the broader health system is required to help achieve the collective goals of quality and safe pharmacy care throughout Ontario, the College is developing valuable new linkages with the province’s Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). For example, this past November the College launched a partnership with the North East LHIN to develop a pharmacy strategy for rural hospitals. This strategy will, through a regional approach aimed at helping area hospitals meet sterile compounding standards, promote quality pharmacy care and support more collaborative approaches to advancing patient safety throughout the province.
BUILDING BRIDGES BETWEEN PRIMARY CARE AND COMMUNITY PHARMACY
Pharmacy professionals play an important role in a patient’s journey throughout the healthcare continuum. To promote better patient care experiences and outcomes, the College has begun to work with the Toronto Central LHIN to identify best practice models that link community pharmacy with primary care and address transitions of care. This is an opportunity to encourage interprofessional collaboration with primary care, create better links between hospital and community, and optimize the scope of pharmacy professionals. It is also expected that these models will identify any policy barriers to this type of collaboration between and across pharmacies in the sub-regions of the LHIN. The College and the Toronto Central LHIN are currently sharing data and identifying existing models and projects from which to build.