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Ensuring Quality Pharmacy Practice

The Mission of the College of Pharmacists of Manitoba is to protect the health and well-being of the public by ensuring and promoting safe, patient-centred and progressive pharmacy practice in collaboration with other health-care providers.  The core function of the College, therefore, is to ensure quality in all areas that comprise pharmacy practice.  These areas may be seen as the layers of practice that support safe, patient-centred and progressive pharmacy practice.  They include the pharmacy practice site environment, rules and standards that govern the practice of pharmacy, the competence of pharmacists and the need to continually improve to affect positive health outcomes for patients.  For the College, ensuring quality means continually working to develop and assess each of these layers of practice to create the framework for excellence in pharmacy practice.

The environment of the pharmacy practice site can greatly influence the pharmacist’s ability to provide quality pharmacy care.  Requirements for adequate space, equipment, lighting and resources are only a few of the site requirements that have been established to enable the pharmacist to practice effectively and safely.

Legislation, standards of practice, guidelines and joint statements of practice developed with other health professions help to guide pharmacists in the provision of quality pharmacy care. 

Pharmacists, pharmacy managers and College field office staff assess pharmacy site requirements and practice support through the Pharmacy Quality Assurance Self-Assessment and onsite regular inspection process.

Prior to initial licensing with the College, all pharmacists must undertake successful qualification through the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada.  As with all health professionals, maintaining competence within our dynamic healthcare system requires pharmacists to continually upgrade their knowledge and skills through continuing professional development (CPD).  Pharmacists in Manitoba rely on the College Learning Portfolio System to assist them in planning for, participating in and reflecting on their CPD. The Self-Assessment component of the learning portfolio is a tool to assist pharmacists in identifying their learning needs.  The onsite regular inspection process provides an additional opportunity for pharmacists to identify learning needs. 

The College recognizes the need to strengthen the self-assessment process and to provide pharmacists with assessment tools that are more informative and relevant to the actual practice environment.   Currently much work is underway across the country and in Manitoba to develop performance-based assessment models that will more closely mirror real life pharmacy practice and provide an objective and perceptive evaluation of a pharmacist’s practice to identify strengths and areas for improvement.

The Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) concept is an approach to quality that strives for excellence in practice and improved patient health outcomes.  CQI involves examining pharmacy processes to identify and learn from inefficiencies and medication incidents in order to develop efficient processes that improve patient care and safety.  An understanding of patient needs and expectations is key to achieving positive outcomes. The patient's role in decisions regarding their healthcare cannot be understated.

Presently within the Canadian healthcare system, there is a movement towards interprofessional teams of health providers working together in the community and in institutional settings to provide collaborative patient-centred care.  Evidence exists to support that collaborative patient-centred care improves patient safety and health outcomes.  The College has taken a very active role in facilitating collaborative patient-centred care through initiation of iCPD Manitoba.  The iCPD Manitoba Network is comprised of representatives from the provincial regulatory bodies for the health professions, the Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety, PrISM, the Faculties of Dentistry, Nursing, Medicine, Pharmacy and the Interprofessional Education Initiative from the University of Manitoba, the Health Reciprocal of Canada, the CPD Program at the Faculty of Medicine and the College PD Program.