Assessing quality in community pharmacy

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Abstract

Objective

This review aimed to identify English-language instruments used to assess quality in community pharmacy and to evaluate their reported validity, reliability, feasibility and acceptability.

Method

A systematic review was conducted to identify literature relating to the use of instruments to assess quality in community pharmacy. The electronic databases searched included Embase, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, Medline, e-PIC and Pharmline, covering the period of time between January 1990 and March 2007. Reference lists of identified studies and websites of pharmacy bodies were also searched.

Key findings

Ten instruments were identified from Canada, Malta, the UK and the US. These were used for quality-assurance and/or quality-improvement purposes and focused on: clinical governance systems; organisational culture/maturity; safety (climate and systems); effectiveness of pharmacy services; and stakeholders' feedback on services. The assessments were at different stages of development, and the majority had not been tested for construct validity, reliability and feasibility.

Conclusions

Assessments with high validity and reliability give a good indication of the quality of care provided and can indicate areas for improvement. Further research is needed to establish a composite view of quality in community pharmacy; and many of the instruments identified required validation.

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