Supporting Innovation in Pharmacy for a Healthier Canada

A report card for pharmacy services


October 2014 - Canadian researchers are looking to capture the perspectives of various stakeholders on current pharmacy services to garner advice on how to best evaluate these services going forward.

Since the summer of 2013, the researchers have been interviewing policy makers, physicians, pharmacists, academics and patients to determine what they consider most important when evaluating pharmacy services. A literature review of evaluation frameworks used in pharmacy and health care, as well as of pharmacy services themselves, is also in the works to get a better understanding of what’s happening around the world.

“We developed this study because we thought it would be helpful to bring some more generic advice about pharmacy services to various sources,” says lead researcher and pharmacist Lisa Dolovich, Professor and Associate Chair for the Department of Medicine at McMaster University. “This way we can develop some common guidelines on the types of indicators that should be considered when evaluating services.”

The study is part of a large-scale research program underway through the Ontario Pharmacy Research Collaboration (OPEN) to determine the value of pharmacists’ services in Ontario.

The researchers will present a first draft of their findings at the OPEN Summit in early October, and bring together a consensus panel of stakeholders in the new year to further discuss what an ultimate pharmacy service evaluation framework should contain. Dolovich says the whole process is expected to encourage consensus building and consolidate priorities across stakeholders to improve evidence-informed policy making.

“So far there are some things that are evident and non-controversial and some aspects of the evaluation where we will want to build consensus,” says Dolovich. “We’re also looking at theories of system innovation, behaviours etc., that can help guide the aspects that should be included in the evaluation.”

The researchers will test the feasibility and usefulness of the framework with a set of pharmacy services research projects.