College and HQO Launch First Set of Quality Indicators for Community Pharmacy

Posted:Jun 5th, 2019
Read Time: 3 Min Read

The Ontario College of Pharmacists (the College), in partnership with Health Quality Ontario (HQO), has launched the first set of quality indicators for community pharmacy in Canada, which will provide a better understanding of the impact of pharmacy on the health outcomes of Ontario patients and drive quality improvement.

The indicators, which will be publicly reported at an aggregate level, will provide important information about the quality of pharmacy care. The indicators, by measurement area, are as follows:

Patient and Caregiver Experience and Outcomes

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.

Appropriateness of Dispensed Medication

5. Percentage of opioid-naïve patients who were dispensed an initial dose greater than 90mg morphine.

Medication-Related Hospital Visits

6. Hospital visits for opioid poisoning among patients who were dispensed an initial dose greater than 90mg morphine.

Transitions of Care

7. Percentage of people who have had a medication review within 14 days of discharge home from hospital.

 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 quality indicators were developed in collaboration with HQO, the provincial advisor on healthcare quality, and selected by an Expert Panel that included patients, practicing pharmacists, academics and other health system stakeholders.

These indicators will enable both pharmacy professionals and the College – which is responsible for promoting quality improvement within the pharmacy profession – to gain a clearer picture of the quality of pharmacy care and make evidence-based decisions to support quality improvement.

The College will continue to engage patients, frontline pharmacy professionals, corporate pharmacy sector leaders, academics and health system data experts as it moves forward with implementation, including developing an understanding of what tools and resources pharmacy professionals will need to support quality improvement.

 “The Ontario College of Pharmacists has a mandate to serve and protect the public, and that includes encouraging continuous quality improvement. Quality indicators will strengthen our ability to fulfill this important responsibility by providing us, the public, pharmacy professionals and others in the health care system with information about the overall quality of pharmacy care in Ontario. 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

“For many Ontarians like me, our local pharmacist constitutes our most recognizable and frequent contact point with the provincial healthcare system. Consequently, this timely introduction of Quality Indicators for Pharmacy by HQO and the OCP is a very appropriate and worthwhile development.”

– Harvey Naglie, Patient Partner and member of the Expert Panel

For more information:

About the Ontario College of Pharmacists
The Ontario College of Pharmacists (OCP), incorporated in 1871, is the registering and regulating body for the profession of pharmacy in Ontario. The College’s mandate is to serve and protect the public and hold Ontario’s pharmacists and pharmacy technicians accountable to the established legislation, standards of practice, code of ethics and policies and guidelines relevant to pharmacy practice. The College also oversees the province’s community and hospital pharmacies and assesses them against prescribed standards of operation. For more information, visit


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