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About the Authors: Dr. Warholak is a professor and Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs and Assessment at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy. She earned 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. 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 (QI) 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 is the Director of Measurement Outcomes Research at the PQA. He earned a Doctorate of Pharmacy (PharmD) and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Economics, Policy, and Outcomes from the University of Arizona. 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 and measure development teams.

Dr. Nelson is the Director of Research and Academic Affairs at the PQA. In this role, she is responsible for the advancement and coordination of PQA’s research portfolio. She also directs PQA’s student and post-graduate programs to support PQA’s commitment to educate the next generation of health care quality leaders. Prior to her role at PQA, Dr. Nelson spent several years as a research assistant at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, with a focus on investigating health care QI and health professions education. During that time, she also earned her PharmD degree.



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 (QA), quality control (QC), and continuous QI (CQI).

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

  6. Outline the steps necessary for a successful CQI plan.

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

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



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