Quality Indicators for Pharmacy

November 2020:

The first set of Quality Indicators for community pharmacy related to the appropriateness of dispensed medications, medication-related hospital visits and transitions of care have been posted in the form of an interactive online tool, providing the public with a clearer picture of the overall quality of pharmacy care in Ontario and supporting pharmacy professionals in their own quality improvement efforts.

To support its mandate to serve and protect the public, the College is responsible for encouraging continuous quality improvement within the profession of pharmacy. With better data and information, both pharmacy professionals and the College can make evidence-informed decisions to improve the quality of pharmacy care in Ontario.

In order to better understand the impact of pharmacy care on patient outcomes, the College, in partnership with Health Quality Ontario (HQO), have established the first set of quality indicators for community pharmacy in Canada. These indicators will provide the public with a clearer picture of the overall quality of pharmacy care in Ontario and support quality improvement efforts by pharmacy professionals and the College.

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, it is relatively new territory for community pharmacy in Ontario, which is why it is the focus of this current indicators work.

The indicators were developed by an expert panel that included patients, practicing pharmacists, academics and other health system stakeholders, and launched by the College and HQO at a Symposium on Quality Indicators for Pharmacy in June 2019. The full expert panel report can be found here.

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
Appropriateness of dispensed medications, medication-related hospital visits and transitions of care

Data for these indicators is now available here.

1. Percentage of patients who were newly dispensed an opioid prescription greater than 50 mg morphine equivalents per day.*
2. Hospital visits for opioid poisonings among patients that are actively treated with an opioid prescription.*
3. Percentage of eligible people who have had a medication review within seven days of discharge home from hospital.*
Patient/Caregiver-Reported Experience

The College is working on a plan to collect patient reported data for these indicators.

1. My pharmacist helped me understand why I am taking each of my medications.
2. My pharmacist made sure I understood how to take my medication properly.
3. My pharmacist made sure I understood what results I might expect from my medication, including any side effects or drug/food interactions that may occur.
4. My pharmacist helped me understand how to know if my medication is working.
Provider Experience The Expert Panel recommended this as an area for further review and refinement before reporting the provider experience and engagement indicators publicly.

*The wording of this indicator has been updated from its original language. For more information, see the FAQs and the version history.