Objectives: To describe consumers' ability to interpret pharmacy quality measures data presented in a report card, to examine the tools that consumers require to interpret the information available in a pharmacy quality report card, and to determine whether pharmacy quality measures influence consumers' choice of a pharmacy.
Design: Qualitative study.
Setting: Three semistructured focus groups conducted in a private meeting space at a public library in Sioux Falls, SD, from April 2011 to May 2011.
Participants: 29 laypeople.
Intervention: Participants' skills interpreting and using pharmacy quality information were examined based on mock report cards containing the Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) quality measures.
Main outcome measures: Consumer perceptions of pharmacy quality data.
Results: Participants reported difficulty understanding quality measures because of knowledge deficits. They wanted supportive resources on drug class of their medications to help them understand the measures. Participants had different opinions on whether their pharmacies should be compared with other pharmacies based on specific quality measures. For example, they favored the use of drug-drug interactions as a quality measure for comparing pharmacies, while medication adherence was deemed of limited use for comparison. Participants stated that pharmacy report cards would be useful information but would not prompt a change in pharmacy. However, participants perceived that this information would be useful in selecting a new pharmacy.
Conclusion: The results suggest that consumers require simplification of PQA quality measures and supportive resources to interpret the measures. Consumers may favor certain quality measures based on their perception of the role of the pharmacist. Education is required before full use of this quality-of-care information can be realized.