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Patients' perceived value of pharmacy quality measures: a mixed-methods study

19 Jan 2015

Objective

To describe patients’ perceived value and use of quality measures in evaluating and choosing community pharmacies.

Design

Focus group methodology was combined with a survey tool. During the focus groups, participants assessed the value of the Pharmacy Quality Alliance's quality measures in evaluating and choosing a pharmacy. Also, participants completed questionnaires rating their perceived value of quality measures in evaluating a pharmacy (1 being low value and 5 being high) or choosing a pharmacy (yes/no). Thematic analysis and descriptive statistics were used to analyse the focus groups and surveys, respectively.

Setting

Semistructured focus groups were conducted in a private meeting space of an urban and a rural area of a Mid-western State in the USA.

Participants

Thirty-four adults who filled prescription medications in community pharmacies for a chronic illness were recruited in community pharmacies, senior centres and public libraries.

Results

While comments indicated that all measures were important, medication safety measures (eg, drug-drug interactions) were valued more highly than others. Rating of quality measure utility in evaluating a pharmacy ranged from a mean of 4.88 (‘drug-drug interactions’) to a mean of 4.0 (‘absence of controller therapy for patients with asthma’). Patients were hesitant to use quality information in choosing a pharmacy (depending on the participant's location) but might consider if moving to a new area or having had a negative pharmacy experience. Use of select quality measures to choose a pharmacy ranged from 97.1% of participants using ‘drug-drug interactions’ (medication safety measure) to 55.9% using ‘absence of controller therapy for patients with asthma’.

Conclusions

The study participants valued quality measures in evaluating and selecting a community pharmacy, with medication safety measures valued highest. The participants reported that the quality measures would not typically cause a switch in pharmacy but might influence their selection in certain situations.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open