The College, in partnership with Health Quality Ontario, is pleased to establish the first set of quality indicators for community pharmacy in Canada. The indicators were announced at a recent event which brought together patients, pharmacy professionals, health system partners, regulators, government, academic and other pharmacy and health system stakeholders.
Quality indicators already exist in other areas of the health system, such as long-term care and primary care, and a great deal of work has already been done to establish indicators in hospital pharmacy. However, this work has not been undertaken for community pharmacy in Ontario – until now.
The Ontario College of Pharmacists has a mandate to serve and protect the public, and that includes encouraging continuous quality improvement. With better data to enhance our understanding of how community pharmacy care influences health outcomes, the College can also better support pharmacy professionals in their work to provide quality care to their patients.
– Nancy Lum-Wilson, CEO and Registrar, Ontario College of Pharmacists
A total of seven indicators (see subsequent pages for a summary of the selected indicators) represents a pivotal first step in providing pharmacy professionals, the public and health system stakeholders with a clearer picture of the overall quality of pharmacy care and its impact on health outcomes. With better data and information, both the College and pharmacy professionals can make evidence-informed decisions to support quality improvement.
The indicators focus on measuring four important areas: the patient/caregiver experience and outcomes, appropriateness of dispensed medications, medication-related hospital visits and transitions of care. Additional quality indicators aimed at measuring provider experience and engagement are also in development and will be publicly reported once that work is completed.
The selection of the first set of quality indicators is a major milestone; however, much more work remains to be done in collaboration with our partners and with pharmacy professionals throughout the province. In fact, continued collaboration will be key in gaining a better understanding of what tools and resources pharmacy professionals may need to support quality improvement. Those interested in being part of this discussion are welcome to take part in the College’s Involvement in Quality Indicators Next Steps survey.
More information about this survey and about the quality indicators work will be communicated in eConnect and future issues of Pharmacy Connection. You can also access additional information, such as Frequently Asked Questions about the indicators for pharmacy professionals, on the College website at www.ocpinfo.com.