Implications of process characteristics on quality-related event reporting in community pharmacy

Res Social Adm Pharm. 2012 Jan-Feb;8(1):76-86. doi: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2010.11.004. Epub 2011 Dec 9.


Background: The lack of a single pharmacy regulator in Canada has led to a wide variety of processes for reporting and learning from medication errors and near misses, collectively known as quality-related events (QREs). These processes range from completely informal processes, through to primarily manual processes that rely on paper forms and incident reports stored in a binder, all the way to fully computerized processes such as anonymous online reporting to a national database.

Objectives: The objective of the study was to develop and test a model of the influence of various QRE reporting process characteristics on levels of QRE reporting process support and QRE reporting in Canadian community pharmacies.

Methods: A questionnaire was administered to 427 pharmacy managers, pharmacists, and technicians in Nova Scotia, Canada, in 2010, with 210 questionnaires returned. Partial least squares was performed on a subgroup of the data set (N=121) to test and refine the model. Content analysis of the open-ended data provided additional support for model variables.

Results: The final model retained all proposed variables except for anonymous reporting. The model highlights that process ease and learning capability both greatly influence the overall support for the QRE process; with these 2 variables explaining 62% of the variance in QRE process support and QRE process support explaining 34% of the variance in overall levels of QRE reporting.

Conclusions: The findings have implications for the creation and implementation of successful QRE reporting processes in community pharmacies. Implementing effective QRE reporting tools is paramount to ensuring that pharmacies report and learn from QREs. Dynamic QRE reporting tools that are modern, up to date, integrated into workflow, easy to use, and quick have been shown to be the most effective.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Medication Errors*
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Nova Scotia
  • Pharmacies / organization & administration*
  • Quality Control
  • Risk Management / methods
  • Surveys and Questionnaires