The College is continuing its work on quality indicators for community pharmacy, a tool that will help drive improvement in pharmacy by providing registrants, health-system stakeholders and the public with a clearer picture of the impact of pharmacy care on patient experience and health outcomes.
LAUNCHING FIRST SET OF QUALITY INDICATORS
In June 2019, the College reached a significant milestone, launching the first set of indicators in partnership with Health Quality Ontario (now a part of Ontario Health). Covering four measurement areas, these seven indicators were developed by an expert panel that included patients, practicing pharmacists, academics and other health system stakeholders.
WHAT ARE THE SELECTED INDICATORS MEASURING?
Medication-related Hospital Visits
Transitions of Care
Appropriateness of Dispensed Medications
Patient/Caregiver Experience and Outcomes
These indicators will be publicly reported and provide the public with a better understanding of the overall quality of pharmacy care in Ontario, as well as support quality improvement efforts by pharmacy professionals and the College. They are not intended to track individual performance or be used for reimbursement, unlike other indicators established by insurance companies.
Since the announcement of the first set of selected indicators, the College has engaged a work group comprised of health system and quality experts, including members of the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) and Ontario Health (Quality), to develop technical specifications for three administrative indicators associated with the appropriateness of dispensed medications, medication-related hospital visits, and transitions of care. These specifications, the importance of which was highlighted by the pharmacy sector during the indicator selection process, will ensure there is clarity behind the definitions and technical details of each of the three indicators.
Using these technical specifications, the Ministry of Health will provide the College with data for analysis. The College anticipates being in a position to report on these indicators later this year and they will be shared through various communication channels, including Pharmacy Connection.
The second phase of indicator development is underway, and seeks to measure pharmacy professional experience and engagement, as there is a well-established link between provider experience, patient experience and health outcomes. In the coming months, the College will reach out to practicing pharmacy professionals to collaborate on developing and refining provider experience indicators.
Throughout this process, the College will be engaging with key stakeholders, including registrants and patients, to identify implementation considerations and what tools and resources pharmacy professionals will need to support their quality improvement efforts.
The College values this feedback as it moves forward with this work, which will provide the public and health system with information about the quality of pharmacy care and support efforts to improve patient outcomes and patient safety.