It’s not just members of the profession that get a say in where the College should concentrate its efforts in improving the quality of pharmacy care in the province over the next three years – the public gets a say too. Over the summer, the College engaged with members of the public all over the province in an online forum designed to elicit what they thought about what quality service in pharmacy looked like to them and what, as members of the public, they expect when they require the services and expertise of a pharmacist, pharmacy technician, or pharmacy.
- What are some examples of challenges and concerns you’ve experienced when accessing pharmacy care to help you achieve better health?
- What is an example of a time when you have been satisfied or pleasantly surprised while accessing pharmacy care?
- Thinking about pharmacy services in your community, what are some creative ideas that you feel would improve the overall quality of pharmacy care?
We then took the responses to each question, grouped them together into like thoughts, and then asked the same group of people to prioritize the ideas that they thought were the most important or of the most value. As part of the grouping process, the College assigned all those ideas that were outside the College’s ability to act (many dealing with PharmaCare or third-party insurance issues) into an ‘Out of Scope’ category. This step ensured that our end result gave us information we could actually act on, but also helped educate the public about the College’s role, and what it does (and doesn’t) do.
The end result was as the College expected: British Columbians are generally very happy with the quality of pharmacy services in their community. In fact, many of the areas identified by the public as the highest priority were things that we already do!
What the public said were their highest priorities:
- “communications between pharmacists and physicians”
- “accurate information relating to and access to generic drug alternatives”
- “having to go back to see the doctor to get prescription renewed”
- “clear explanation of medication, side effects, drug interactions, and other options”
- “ability to call ahead to fill prescriptions” or “ability to have someone else pickup a prescription”
- “given advice on over the counter drugs by the pharmacist”
- “knowledge of and information on natural remedies as well as typical medicine”
- “a comprehensive explanation on why generic drugs are as good or not as good”
- “a centralized database for patient information”
These results will be used to inform the Board on the public’s view of quality enhancement, ensuring that the Board has consulted widely in the development of the plan. In addition, many of the ideas provided by the public may be turned into action by the College as it begins to implement and communicate the goals and objectives of the plan.
This is the first time the College has actively solicited members of the public for feedback during a planning process. The College thanks the nearly 200 people who took part and is extremely grateful for the time and responses they provided. We are also excited that half of those who participated have agreed to participate in a future online community designed to allow the College to engage the public at a much deeper level.