Background Each pharmacist has an ‘area’ of responsibility governed by specific guidelines. How performance indicators (PIs) can be used to audit work and to show continuous improvement is documented in the literature. However, the ability to identify ‘Performance concerns’ in pharmacists, is not well documented.
Purpose To show measurable improvement in the quality of service provision.
To identify any pharmacist (s) with ‘performance concerns’.
Material and methods The ‘audits‘ were performed by a pharmacist qualified in audit work. Three areas were audited – cytotoxic drugs, galenical preparation and narcotics. 52 PIs were used to score various procedures on a scale of 1–10 (1–2 unacceptable, 3–4 poor, 5–7 fair, 8–9 good, 10 excellent). 6 PIs were specific to prescription inaccuracies.
The April 2014 audit covered the previous 3 months’ work. Audits were repeated in June and August 2014.
Performance concerns may be indicated by no improvement in repeated audits and/or persistent low scoring PIs.
Results The April audit showed 73% PIs to be good-excellent, 18% fair in ‘Narcotics’. 71% PIs good-excellent, 21% fair in ‘Galenicals’. 41% good-excellent, 23% fair in ‘Cytotoxics’.
The June audit showed 100% PIs to be good-excellent, 0% fair in ‘Narcotics’. 96% good-excellent, 0% fair in ‘Galenicals’. 71% good–excellent, 23% fair in ‘Cytotoxics’.
The August audit showed 100% PIs to be good-excellent, 0% fair in ‘Narcotics’. 96% good-excellent, 0% fair in ‘Galenicals’. 71% good-excellent, 23% fair in ‘Cytotoxics’.
The percentage of inaccurate prescriptions in all 3 areas during the audit period was 7–12%.
Using PIs led to improved standards within an 8 month trial period.
The area which improved least was cytotoxics. The reason has not been determined but this may indicate a performance concern, which requires further investigation.
The rate of inaccurate prescriptions reflects an educational issue.
Incorporating PIs into hospital departments would contribute to improving standards and would bring to light performance concerns in health care professionals.
References and/or acknowledgements No conflict of interest.
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