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pharmacy evaluation framework

Led by Lisa Dolovich at McMaster University, this project is capturing a broad range of perspectives on the structure, indicators and processes of a framework that will be built to evaluate services that pharmacists provide to their patients, with an aim to better understand what helps and hinders developing and adopting such a framework.

The team began by exploring the literature — conducting a jurisdictional scan and scoping review of non-academic and scholarly publications to see what frameworks have been developed.

“The literature exploration revealed that almost no frameworks have been developed to help guide the evaluation of community pharmacist services,” Dr. Dolovich said.

“So we expanded our literature review to frameworks used by other healthcare fields, casting a wide net that has captured a rich expanse of practical information and theoretical underpinnings to inform the development of a framework for services pharmacists provide.”

With this theoretical base in place, the team then conducted interviews with academics, policy-makers, physicians and pharmacists across Canada — individuals with an interest and stake in ensuring that pharmacist-led services are delivered efficiently and that they respond to pressing patient and healthcare priorities.

Most interview participants identified the lack of evidence available to inform policy decisions when evaluating current pharmacy services. Opinions varied considerably on what measures would best evaluate pharmacy services, but the themes that emerged from the analysis focused on the importance of capturing patient experiences and identifying the health outcomes that are most important to them, as well as better understanding the pivotal role frontline pharmacists play as healthcare communicators.

“The interview findings underscored the importance of gathering perspectives from a diverse group of stakeholders, providing the foundation that needs to be in place before developing an evaluation framework,” Dr. Dolovich said.

“By encouraging consensus and consolidating priorities, our goal is to develop a framework shaped by evidence, and equally important one that’s valued by researchers, healthcare providers and patients alike.”