Quality improvement provides an opportunity for pharmacy teams to work on initiatives and projects that can help improve the way healthcare is delivered to patients. Access to relevant data may help registrants and their teams focus their efforts when developing continuous quality improvement initiatives and identify opportunities that will have a positive impact on patient safety and health outcomes.
Successful quality improvement initiatives are data-driven, and registrants and patients need the tools and information to make informed decisions. The key to improving patient outcomes is to identify opportunities to share data that are accurate and meaningful and have the necessary context for registrants to be able to implement quality improvements in their practice. This is an important part of the College’s commitment to accountability and transparency, to supporting safe quality care, and to fulfilling our mandate of serving and protecting the public.
Why is the College sharing data?
To help support quality improvement and to coordinate our efforts to achieve the greatest impact, the College is publicly sharing quality improvement indicators at a regional and provincial level to show where there are opportunities for improvement.
While the data does not provide information about any one pharmacy, these tools help identify regional and provincial trends that can help registrants and teams focus their efforts when developing continuous quality improvement initiatives in their own practice.
This public reporting framework shows the College’s approach to sharing data and the connection between how local quality improvement indicators are linked to provincial quality improvement indicators and subsequently broader provincial and system outcome indicators. These connections help build the necessary information to create continuous quality improvement plans that enhance both patient safety and health outcomes at the local pharmacy level.
AIMS (Assurance and Improvement in Medication Safety)
The AIMS (Assurance and Improvement in Medication Safety) program is a standardized medication safety program that supports continuous quality improvement and puts in place a mandatory consistent standard for medication safety for all community pharmacies in the province. Its goal: to improve medication safety and reduce harm caused by medication incidents.
The AIMS program enables registrants to learn from medication incidents, and better understand why they happen and how they can be prevented. Utilizing both a preventative approach through proactive reviews of work processes to identify areas of risk and retrospective reviews of specific medication incidents, community pharmacy teams will be able to identify learnings that will help prevent incidents and near misses and enhance patient safety.
The College is evolving new ways to provide registrants with practice insights based on AIMS data. Registrants are encouraged to use the data warehouse within the AIMS Pharmapod platform to review their own pharmacy data and to compare it to provincial results, as well as to use the continuous quality improvement tool as part of their own quality and medication safety improvement plans.
You can view aggregate, anonymous medication incident and near miss data on some of the event recording fields that are available through the AIMS program.
To better understand the impact of pharmacy care on patient outcomes, the College, in partnership with Health Quality Ontario (now called Ontario Health), established the first set of Quality Indicators for community pharmacy in Canada. These indicators provide the public with a clearer picture of the overall quality of pharmacy care in Ontario and support quality improvement efforts by pharmacy teams and the College. Further information on how the quality indicators were initiated can be found in the Roundtable Synopsis Document and the Expert Panel Report on Quality Indicators for Pharmacy.
- Ontario Health, Quality: Transitions Between Hospital and Home Quality Standard
- Canadian Patient Safety Institute: Medication Reconciliation (MedRec) tools and resources
- Institute for Healthcare Improvement: Medication Reconciliation tools and resources
- Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada: Medication Reconciliation (MedRec) information and overview, Medication Reconciliation in Acute Care getting started kit and Improving Medication Safety in Community Pharmacy: Assessing Risk and Opportunities for Change
- Blueprint for Pharmacy: Connect and Care Model Tools
- Ontario Ministry of Health: MedsCheck program description and patient eligibility criteria
- AIMS platform: continuous quality improvement tools available within the AIMS Pharmapod platform
- AIMS Program e-Training: mandatory etraining modules available within the AIMS Pharmapod platform, including a continuous quality improvement module
- Taking AIMS: the AIMS Response Team Bulletin for the Pharmacy Profession in Ontario (September 2019): preliminary independent analysis of medication incidents and near misses recorded in the AIMS platform
- ISMP Canada Safety Bulletins: analysis of ISMP medication incident data and recommendations to improve safety