A New Indicator Based Tool for Assessing and Reporting on Good Pharmacy Practice

A New Indicator Based Tool for Assessing and Reporting on Good Pharmacy Practice

By: Birna Trap, Ebba Holme Hansen, Rete Trap, Abraham Kahsay, Tendayi Simoyi, Martin Olowo Oteba, Valerie Remedios, Marthe Everard
Publication: Southern Medical Review2010; 3 (2): 4-11.



To develop an indicator-based tool for systematic assessment and reporting of good pharmacy practice (GPP).


The tool comprises a) a set of indicators, b) an indicator and survey manual, c) a data collection sheet, and d) Microsoft Excel based data collection and analysis tool. We developed a set of 34 pharmacy practice (PP) indicators using an iterative process to test their functionality in various pharmacy practice settings in Ethiopia, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Data were collected on the basis of direct observations, record reviews, interviews and simulated clients in surveyed facilities by trained survey teams.


The indicator-based survey assessed five components of pharmacy practice: system, storage, services, dispensing and rational drug use. The manual and a data collection sheet were introduced in the training of surveyors and used as a reference to ensure clear understanding of indicator definitions and a uniform method of sampling and scoring. An Excel-based tool was developed for systematic data sampling and analysis. The survey results are presented in numbers and visualised in histograms and spidographs showing an assessed score against an ‘ideal’ GPP score. This indicator based tool proved to be simple and easy to use when assessing the various features of GPP.


The new GPP indicator-based assessment tool proved to be an easily applicable tool for uniform assessments of pharmacy practices and identification of problem areas. It allows for both intra- and inter-country comparison and for self-assessment. However, the indicators need to be further developed to test their applicability in developed countries. Moreover, research is needed to develop and validate additional indicators, especially those measuring ‘patient care’ including ‘patient/customer satisfaction’, and ‘self medication’ and to refine the existing indicators. It will also be important to define core (‘obligatory’) and complementary indicators.