Adapting a community pharmacy intervention to improve medication safety

J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2024 Jan-Feb;64(1):159-168. doi: 10.1016/j.japh.2023.11.009. Epub 2023 Nov 7.


Background: Community pharmacies are an ideal location to address challenges of over-the-counter medication safety, yet many successful interventions are only tested in a few pharmacies without expansion, creating unrealized opportunities to improve patient care on a larger scale. Scaling up to numerous pharmacies can be challenging because each community pharmacy has unique needs and layouts and requires individualized adaptation.

Objectives: This paper reports techniques for (a) adapting a community pharmacy intervention to fit the unique physical layout and patient needs of health system pharmacy sites without increasing staff workload, (b) identifying strategies to gather feedback on adaptations from stakeholders, and (c) developing materials to share with pharmacy champions for them to independently implement and sustain the intervention in their organization.

Practice description: The study team collaborated with Aurora Pharmacy, Inc to develop an intervention designed to increase awareness of safe over-the-counter medication use for older adults.

Practice innovation: Senior Safe, a community pharmacy-based intervention, was designed, implemented, and tested using the Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, and Sustainment implementation framework.

Evaluation methods: Senior Safe was adapted through pilot testing and a randomized control trial. Feedback was collected from key stakeholders, including pharmacy staff, older adults, and a research advisory group.

Results: A finalized version of Senior Safe, as well as an implementation package, was provided to Aurora Pharmacy to integrate into all 63 sites.

Conclusion: This multiphase study illustrated that refining an intervention is possible and welcomed by pharmacy staff, but it requires time, resources, and funds to create an impactful, sustainable community pharmacy intervention.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Community Pharmacy Services*
  • Humans
  • Medication Therapy Management
  • Patient Care / methods
  • Pharmacies*
  • Pharmacists
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic