CONTINUOUS quality improvement in community pharmacy would lead to “better patient outcomes, better system performance, and better professional development,” Amanda Rae, Head of Policy and Development at Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS), told delegates at the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) conference in Glasgow. “How do we learn from our mistakes, how do we learn from what went well, and how do we build on both of these things?” she asked.
The airline industry was best in class at learning from errors, as they were not frightened to say “we got that wrong, how can we get that right in the future”. However, in healthcare it was different, but that needed to change.
The NHS Scotland Healthcare Quality Strategy aimed to embed quality improvement throughout the NHS, and CPS would be producing a summary of its content for pharmacy teams.
The quality improvement (QI) and partnership activities for community pharmacies, outlined in the recent government circulars, worked alongside the quality roadshows run by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and NHS National Education for Scotland (NES); they were independent, but connected.
However, while they did complement each other, “you don’t have to have gone to a roadshow to start this work” advised Amanda, as some health board areas wouldn’t have roadshows until after the New Year.
There were eight QI modules to complete as well as the pharmacy safety climate survey, and CPS was working with the Scottish Government to make it easier to implement and understand. “We are looking at doing the pharmacy safety climate survey first, just to give everybody a benchmark,” she explained, but CPS would keep pharmacy teams updated on progress. Completion of the survey first would mean the modules could then be used to help determine what needed to be done. Staff members would also have to complete the survey, and it needed to be discussed with them to help identify areas for improvement.
In terms of timescales, March was the sign off for the modules. “This is not a race, it’s not a tick box exercise to complete something, it’s a piece of work that is going to run on,” said Amanda.