Quality-related event learning in community pharmacies: Manual versus computerized reporting processes

Todd A. Boyle, Andrea C. Scobie, Neil J. MacKinnon, Thomas Mahaffey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine how staff assessment of key quality-related event (QRE) reporting process characteristics (e.g., ease of use, time to use) and QRE learning (e.g., extent that continuous improvement occurs) differ in community pharmacies in which the QRE reporting process is manual versus computerized. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Nova Scotia, Canada, in 2010. Participants: 121 questionnaires completed by eligible respondents in pharmacies with a formal QRE reporting process. Intervention: Mail-based survey. Main outcome measures: A list of key QRE process characteristics that affect error reporting was identified based on a review of the health care literature and piloted in 2009. The "learning from incidents" construct, as captured by Ashcroft and Parker, was used to assess QRE learning. Results: Regardless of process type, the key strengths of existing QRE reporting systems appear to be that they are cost effective, easy to complete, and involve low risk to operations. However, for almost all reporting and learning characteristics, staff assessments were different between the two pharmacy types (manual versus computerized QRE reporting process), with assessments being higher from staff working in pharmacies with a computerized reporting process. Conclusion: A QRE reporting process with a notable computer or automated component may result in more positive staff assessment of various aspects of the reporting process and QRE learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)498-506
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Pharmacists Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Community pharmacy
  • Medication error reporting
  • Quality control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (nursing)
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology


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