Monitoring Community Pharmacists' Quality of Care: A feasibility study of using pharmacy claims data to assess performance

Nancy Winslade, Laurel Taylor, Sherry Shi, Lambert Schuwirth, Cees van der Vleuten, Robyn Tamblyn
Research Summary: 

Purpose of Study
This study looked to determine the feasibility of using administrative data to screen the quality of care provided at community pharmacies.

Research Approach/Method
The researchers assessed pharmacy-specific performance on safety and effectiveness indicators using data from Quebec's medication insurance program.

Key Overarching Message
The researchers discovered that it is possible to accurately measure safety and effectiveness indicators at a pharmacy-specific level using data from Quebec's medication insurance program.

Key Findings
Reliable estimates of performance could be obtained for over 90% of pharmacies. The average dispensing rate was 4.3% for contra-indicated benzos, 15.2% for nonselective beta-blockers to respiratory patients, 10.7% for hypertension drugs to noncompliant patients, and 43.3% for short-acting beta-agonists in over-use situations. Nine pharmacies (0.5 %) performed in the lowest quartile in all four of the indicators, and 5.3% (n=95) performed in the lowest quartile on three of four indicators.