Reflections on the role of the pharmacy regulatory authority in enhancing quality related event reporting in community pharmacies

Todd A. Boyle, Andrea C. Bishop, Thomas Mahaffey, Neil J. MacKinnon, Darren M. Ashcroft, Bev Zwicker, Carolyn Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Given the demanding nature of providing pharmacy services, coupled with the expanded scope of practice of the professions in jurisdictions around the world, greater commitment to continuous quality improvement through adoption of quality-related event (QRE) reporting is necessary to ensure patient safety. Pharmacy regulatory authorities (PRAs) are in a unique position to enhance QRE reporting and learning through the standardization of expected practice. Objective: This study was aimed to gain a better understanding of the perceived roles of PRAs in enhancing QRE reporting and learning in community pharmacies, and identifying regulatory best practices to execute such roles. Methods: A purposive case sampling approach was used to identify PRA staff members from two groups (Deputy registrars and pharmacy inspectors) in 10 Canadian jurisdictions to participate in focus groups in the fall of 2011. Focus groups were used to explore perceptions of the role of PRAs in enhancing and promoting QRE reporting and learning, and perceived barriers to effective implementation in practice. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the qualitative data. Results: Two focus groups were conducted, one with seven Deputy registrars/Practice managers, and one with nine pharmacy inspectors. Five themes were identified, including (1) defining QRE reporting and compliance, (2) navigating role conflict, (3) educating for enhanced QRE reporting and learning, (4) promoting the positive/removing the fear of QREs, and (5) tailoring QRE reporting and learning consistency. Conclusions: Overall, participants perceived a strong role for PRAs in enhancing QRE reporting and learning and providing education for pharmacies to support their compliance with reporting standards. However, PRAs must navigate the conflict inherent in both educating and promoting a process for achieving a standard while simultaneously inspecting compliance to that standard. Ensuring pharmacies have autonomy in operationalizing standards may help to mitigate this conflict. Finally, greater education for PRAs themselves to better inspect compliance and in order to better communicate the benefits of QRE reporting and learning to pharmacies would be beneficial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-397
Number of pages11
JournalResearch in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Pharmacy administration
  • Qualitative research
  • Quality assurance
  • Quality related events

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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