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Patient safety in community pharmacy – it’s everyone’s business

Christian Thomas
Christian Thomas


WOULD
you like to shape patient safety research in community pharmacy?

I’m currently looking for feedback from community pharmacy staff to help decide what my next research study should focus on. Your experience and knowledge of working in community pharmacy will be extremely useful in helping me to decide what type of research we carry out in community pharmacy in the future.

Our previous studies show that at times, standard operating procedures (SOPs) are bypassed or deviated from by community pharmacy staff. This can be for many reasons, including a lack of staff, a high workload or because the procedure cannot be followed outside of normal working hours. Our previous research has given us many examples of times where SOPs have been bypassed or deviated from. In numerous cases, employees have acted to ensure that patient’s receive their care safely and on time. In some situations, however, patient safety has been at risk.

I’d like to know which of the examples given to us in our previous study by community pharmacy staff pose the greatest risk to patient safety. We would also like your opinion on the likelihood that we could change the behaviour involved in this situation, in practice. Your feedback will help us to decide which examples to use in a questionnaire that will be used on a wider scale with community pharmacy staff.

If you decide to provide your feedback, you will be asked to complete an online questionnaire. As part of the questionnaire you will be asked to consider examples of a procedure being bypassed or deviated from in practice. You will then be asked to anonymously rate the risk of each scenario to patient safety and the likelihood of being able to change this behaviour in practice. There will be an opportunity for you to add any further comments that you may have at the end of the questionnaire. All answers are anonymous and will be kept confidential.

Once the questionnaire is complete, all of the answers will be examined to see which are of the most risk to patient safety and how likely we would be able to change the behaviour. These answers will inform a questionnaire that will explore these examples in further detail. It is hoped that the results of the future questionnaire will help us to develop resources to support pharmacy staff in providing safe patient care. All data collected will be anonymous and will be stored on password protected university computers. 

The questionnaire will take between 3-5 minutes to complete, and please feel free to share the questionnaire with other community pharmacists and pharmacy support staff:

Pharmacists survey

Support staff pharmacy

Christian Thomas is a third year pharmacy PhD student at Manchester Pharmacy School

Follow Christian @chrissythomasx

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