Quality Indicators, Summer 2019

Quality Indicators for Pharmacy: Next Steps

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The College, in partnership with Health Quality Ontario (HQO), has launched the first set of quality indicators for community pharmacy in Canada to help pharmacy professionals, health system stakeholders and the public gain a better understanding of pharmacy’s impact on patient outcomes and to drive quality improvement. The indicators were launched at the Quality Indicators for Pharmacy Symposium in June 2019.

Watch a video summary of the symposium.

The indicators were developed by an expert panel that included patients, practicing pharmacists, academics and other health system stakeholders. Their work is reflected in an Expert Panel Report on Quality Indicators for Pharmacy. In addition, the College has developed a Quality Indicators for Pharmacy leaflet that provides a short summary of the indicators as well as their importance and relevance to pharmacy.

Quality indicators already existed in other areas of the health system, such as primary care and long-term care, and a great deal of work has been done to establish indicators in hospital pharmacy. However, it is relatively new territory for community pharmacy in Ontario.


Medication-related Hospital Visits
Transitions of Care
Appropriateness of Dispensed Medications
Patient/Caregiver Experience and Outcomes

Read the Quality Indicators for Pharmacy leaflet for more information.


One of the measurement areas selected is provider experience and engagement. There is a well-established link between provider experience and engagement and patient outcomes. However, there are currently no pharmacy-specific measures available in the literature. This measurement area will be prioritized for future development and the College will be reaching out to various stakeholders, including frontline pharmacy professionals, to collaborate on further development and refinement of this indicator.


The College is moving forward in developing a plan to implement these quality indicators. We are currently consulting with key stakeholders including patients, pharmacy professionals, corporate pharmacy sector leaders, academics and health system data experts. Pharmacy professionals who would like to provide feedback on next steps for quality indicators can complete the Quality Indicators for Pharmacy Next Steps survey.

Initially, the College will look to use the indicator data for public reporting at an aggregate provincial and regional level to provide transparency to the public, pharmacy professionals, patients and stakeholders on the impact of pharmacy care on patient and system outcomes. We anticipate that we will later be able to make data available for quality improvement use by pharmacies and pharmacy professionals.

Indicator-based information can help pharmacists and pharmacy technicians make evidence-based decisions in their continued efforts to enhance quality of care. Future planning will, in part, focus on developing an understanding of the tools and resources required by pharmacy professionals to support quality improvement, incorporating the data that will be available from the indicators. Starting this fall, a working group comprising health care providers, data and analytics experts, measurement experts, policy makers and system representatives will be developing processes for collecting the data required to report on each of these indicators.

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