Preparing for the spread of patient-reported outcome (PRO) data collection from primary care to community pharmacy: a mixed-methods study

Implement Sci Commun. 2022 Mar 14;3(1):29. doi: 10.1186/s43058-022-00277-3.


Background: Medication non-adherence is a significant public health problem. Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) offer a rich data source to facilitate resolution of medication non-adherence. PatientToc™ is an electronic PRO data collection software originally implemented at primary care practices in California, United States (US). Currently, the use of standardized PRO data collection systems in US community pharmacies is limited. Thus, we are conducting a two-phase evaluation of the spread and scale of PatientToc™ to US Midwestern community pharmacies. This report focuses on the first phase of the evaluation. The objective of this phase was to prepare for implementation of PatientToc™ in community pharmacies by conducting a pre-implementation developmental formative evaluation to (1) identify potential barriers, facilitators, and actionable recommendations to PatientToc™ implementation and (2) create a draft implementation toolkit.

Methods: Data collection consisted of demographics, observations, audio-recorded contextual inquiries, and semi-structured interviews with staff (e.g., primary care providers, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians) and patients during 1-day site visits to a purposive sample of (1) primary care practices currently using PatientToc™ and (2) community pharmacies in Indiana, Wisconsin, and Minnesota interested in the future use of PatientToc™. Post-visit site observation debriefs were also audio-recorded. Verbatim transcripts of all recordings were coded using deductive/inductive approaches and intra-/inter-site summaries were produced identifying potential barriers, facilitators, and actionable recommendations mapped to the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research constructs. A stakeholder advisory panel engaged in an Evidence-Based Quality Improvement (EBQI) implementation process. This included "member checking" and prioritizing findings, and feedback on the adapted PatientToc™ application, implementation strategies, and accompanying toolkit for community pharmacy implementation.

Results: Two primary care practices, nine pharmacies, and 89 individuals participated. Eight major themes (four barriers and four facilitators) and 14 recommendations were identified. Throughout the four EBQI sessions, the panel (1) confirmed findings; (2) designated high priority recommendations: (a) explain PatientToc™ and its benefits clearly and simply to patients, (b) ensure patients can complete questionnaires within 10 min, and (c) provide hands-on training/resources for pharmacy teams; and (3) provided feedback on the adapted PatientToc™ application and finalized toolkit items for initial community pharmacy implementation.

Conclusions: Adoption of electronically captured PROs in community pharmacies is warranted. The implementation strategies systematically developed in this study can serve as a model for implementation of technology-driven health information patient care services, in the understudied context of community pharmacies.

Keywords: Community pharmacy; Health information technology; Patient-reported outcomes.