Helping Unlock Better Care (HUB|C) using quality improvement science in community pharmacies – An implementation method
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INTRODUCTION: Community pharmacists' optimal scope of practice extends far beyond traditional dispensing or compounding, and health promotion or chronic disease management services based in the pharmacy can generate significant social and economic value. But, with many competing demands and performance expectations from patients, payers, and policymakers, many pharmacies face challenges when introducing, maintaining, optimizing, or integrating their service offerings. Quality Improvement (QI) science may provide a practical change management framework for pharmacy professionals to lead their teams in embracing optimal scope and in making pharmacy-based services more feasible and attractive for all parties. PROJECT AIMS: To build community pharmacies' capacity for continuous QI (CQI) and to understand how the implementation of CQI is best achieved in this setting. METHODS: Community pharmacies will undertake a process of change within one or more existing pharmacy services. Participatory action research principles will empower these sites to identify their own opportunities for improvement, generate change ideas, and trial and study those ideas in practice, using a QI system built on the Model for Improvement and Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles. An external Quality Facilitator will consult and train an internal Change Champion and other pharmacy staff to use QI tools and strategy. Mixed methods will be used to explore changes in pharmacy service quality, and to understand the experience of the pharmacy professionals taking part in the QI process. INTENDED OUTCOMES: To assess the capacity and willingness of community pharmacies to undertake self-directed QI initiatives, with the support of an external Quality Facilitator and an established QI approach. Understandings surrounding the transferability of this process, including further scale-up, and the production of additional change management tools are additional potential outcomes of this work.
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