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Dr. Warholak is an associate professor at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy. She earned a BS, MS, and PhD from Purdue University, Indiana. Her professional pharmacy experience encompasses practice in both hospital and community pharmacies, including 5 years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service (Indian Health Service) and a short tour of duty with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Dr. Warholak has been recognized as a winner of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Council of Faculties Innovations in Teaching Competition for her work titled “Application of Quality Assurance Principles: Reducing Medication Errors in 30 Pharmacy Practice Settings.” This work formed the basis of a national quality improvement educational program (Educating Pharmacists in Quality) with the Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA). Dr. Warholak’s teaching and research interests include medication error reduction, health information technology evaluation, and bringing pharmaceutical care to underserved populations. As such, she has substantial experience collaborating with pharmacists and other health care providers. She has participated in studies evaluating the quality of patient care, techniques for reducing medication errors, and health information technology assessment.

Dr. Campbell has an interest in health care quality and safety and has contributed to continuing education sessions and publications in this area. He earned a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Arizona and is currently enrolled in a graduate program specializing in Pharmaceutical Economics, Policy and Outcomes there. He has worked in community pharmacy practice since 2010 and has experience with workflow processes, performance metrics, and business operations. Dr. Campbell has been involved with PQA since 2013, serving on workgroups to develop medication-use performance measures.

Ms. Nelson is currently working toward her Doctor of Pharmacy degree at the University of Arizona. Since 2011, she has worked as a research assistant for the College of Pharmacy with a focus on quality improvement in health care and health professions education.



After completing this chapter, readers should be able to

  1. Discuss the importance of quality in pharmacy practice.

  2. Describe how quality is measured in pharmacy practice.

  3. Justify the use of successful quality practices employed by other industries in pharmacy practice.

  4. Explain the differences between quality assurance, quality control, and continuous quality improvement.

  5. List three methods for ensuring quality in pharmacy practice.

  6. Outline the steps necessary for a successful continuous quality improvement plan.

  7. Prioritize areas/functions most suitable for conducting a quality analysis.

  8. Identify sources for additional information about quality assessment and improvement.


Anita Katz was promoted to “pharmacy manager” at a community pharmacy last week. She was excited and wanted to make some positive changes. Among the charges assigned to her was to implement a quality improvement (QI) program to decrease errors, increase efficiency, and improve store performance on pharmacy quality measures. The goals of the QI program were to ...

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