Exploring consumer understanding and preferences for pharmacy quality information

Main Article Content

Olayinka O. Shiyanbola
Jane R. Mort


Quality Assurance, Health Care, Consumer Satisfaction, Community Pharmacy Services, Pharmacies, United States


Objective: To describe consumer understanding of pharmacy quality measures and consumer preferences for pharmacy quality information.

Methods: Semi-structured focus group design was combined with survey methods. Adults who filled prescription medications for self-reported chronic illnesses at community pharmacies discussed their understanding of Pharmacy Quality Alliance approved quality measures. Questions examined preference of pharmacy quality information rating systems (e.g. stars versus percentages) and desired data display/formats. During the focus group, participants completed a survey examining their understanding of each pharmacy quality measure. All focus group discussions were transcribed verbatim. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis and descriptive statistics.

Results: Thirty-four individuals participated (mean age= 62.85; SD=16.05). Participants were unfamiliar with quality measures information and their level of understanding differed for each quality measure. Surveys indicated 94.1% understood “Drug-Drug Interactions” and “Helping Patients Get Needed Medications” better than other measures (e.g., 76.5% understood “Suboptimal Treatment of Hypertension in Patients with Diabetes”). Qualitative analysis indicated participants preferred an overall pharmacy rating for quick access and use. However, participants also wanted quality measures information displayed by health conditions. Participants favored comparison of their pharmacy to city data instead of state data. Most participants liked star ratings better than percentages, letter grades, or numerical ratings.

Conclusions: Individuals who have a chronic illness and regularly use community pharmacies are interested in pharmacy quality measures. However, specific quality measures were not understood by some participants. Participants had specific preferences for the display of pharmacy quality information which will be helpful in the design of appropriate quality report systems.


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