Barriers to the use of patient safety information sources by community pharmacies

James R. Barker, Todd C. Boyle, Lisa Tay, Andrea Bishop, Bobbi Morrison, Andrea Murphy, Neil J. MacKinnon, Emma Murray, Certina Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: When patient safety information is communicated across a regulatory jurisdiction or country, the potential to enhance the safety of community pharmacy practice is significant. While there currently exists a number of sources for patient safety information (e.g., websites, safety bulletins, online tools), knowledge of the barriers that may inhibit the use of such information sources within community pharmacies is limited. Objective: This research explores community pharmacy manager use of Canadian patient safety information sources and the barriers that may limit the use of such sources. Methods: A qualitative research study design using semi-structured interviews was conducted with 15 community pharmacy managers in the Halifax Regional Municipality of Nova Scotia, Canada. The study explored how pharmacists access and engage a variety of information sources, including corporate intranets, websites, and tools provided by third party data base repositories. Interview data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: Five general barriers were identified: lack of time to access information sources and its contents; too many sources of available information; too much information not relevant to community pharmacy practice; complexity navigating online information sources; and lack of community pharmacy involvement in source design. Conclusion: While pharmacies do use safety information sources to enhance practice safety, their ability to incorporate this information is inhibited by their general lack of time available to access and read safety information, lack of knowledge about where to get this information, and lack of tailored information for the community pharmacy context. Future initiatives should address increasing information awareness of available sources, consolidating and reducing information overload of such sources, and packaging information to better fit with pharmacists’ needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)895-901
Number of pages7
JournalResearch in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Community pharmacy
  • Continuous quality improvement (CQI)
  • Error reporting
  • Qualitative research
  • Quality related events (QREs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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