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How do pharmacists in English general practices identify their impact? An exploratory qualitative study of measurement problems

Karampatakis, G. D., Ryan, K., Patel, N. ORCID:, Lau, W. M. and Stretch, G. (2019) How do pharmacists in English general practices identify their impact? An exploratory qualitative study of measurement problems. BMC Health Services Research, 19 (34). ISSN 1472-6963

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1186/s12913-018-3842-y


Background: In England, there is an ongoing national pilot to expand pharmacists’ presence in general practice. Evaluation of the pilot includes numerical and survey-based Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and requires pharmacists to electronically record their activities, possibly by using activity codes. At the time of the study (2016), no national evaluation of pharmacists’ impact in this environment had been formally announced. The aim of this qualitative study was to identify problems that English pharmacists face when measuring and recording their impact in general practice. Methods: All pharmacists, general practitioners (GPs) and practice managers working across two West London pilot sites were invited, via e-mail, to participate in a focus group study. Appropriately trained facilitators conducted two audio-recorded, semi-structured focus groups, each lasting approximately one hour, to explore experiences and perceptions associated with the KPIs. Audio-recordings were transcribed verbatim and the data analysed thematically. Results: In total, 13 pharmacists, one GP and one practice manager took part in the study. Four major themes were discerned: inappropriateness of the numerical national KPIs (“whether or not we actually have positive impact on KPIs is beyond our control”); depth and breadth of pharmacists’ activity (“we see a huge plethora of different patients and go through this holistic approach - everything is looked at”); awareness of practice based pharmacists’ roles (“I think the really important [thing] is that everyone knows what pharmacists in general practice are doing”); and central evaluation versus local initiatives (“the KPIs will be measured by National Health Service England regardless of what we think” versus “what I think is more pertinent, are there some local things we’re going to measure?”). Conclusions: Measures that will effectively capture pharmacists’ impact in general practice should be developed, along with a set of codes reflecting the whole spectrum of pharmacists’ activities. Our study also points out the significance of a transparent, robust national evaluation, including exploring the needs/expectations of practice staff and patients regarding pharmacists’ presence in general practice.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > School of Pharmacy > Division of Pharmacology
ID Code:81245
Publisher:BioMed Central


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