A previous Mgmt Tip discussed performance appraisal and feedback. It indicated these management activities to be among the most unanticipated by pharmacy managers. Not only do managers find then difficult to perform, the content of the evaluation instrument itself might require substantial improvement.
Chong et al conducted an assessment of annual performance evaluations in Canadian community pharmacies.1 They evaluated competencies measured in performance evaluation templates used by pharmacy organizations and mapped those against the General Level Framework (GLF), a tool developed to assess the competency of general-level pharmacy practitioners. Performance evaluations mapped most closely to the GLF tool were related to personal competencies (eg, organization, communication, and teamwork), with the lowest level of congruence observed among competencies specific to patient care activities. Few evaluations considered recent expansions of scope, such as ordering and interpreting laboratory tests or pharmacist prescribing. The researchers concluded that performance evaluation can be a valuable tool to improve quality of care and the professional development of pharmacists; however, the tools themselves must be continuously assessed to ensure that they reflect the most valuable aspects of a pharmacist’s professional practice.
Performance evaluations are challenging for a number of reasons. Some managers are hesitant to face employees and offer suggestions for improvement or offer ratings that might result in lack of reward or even progressive discipline for employees. Additionally, at least one study in pharmacy has confirmed that the performance feedback tool might not be indicative of current practice, and this of course could alter the nature of the feedback provided to pharmacist and to technician employees. Pharmacy managers must work to implement the most accurate performance appraisal system possible. Even when the template is developed elsewhere (eg, by upper administration of a large organization), the manager can always suggest changes in that template and even consider its shortcomings while conducting the actual appraisal.
Additional information about Performance Appraisal Systems can be found in Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 4e. If you or your institution subscribes to AccessPharmacy, use or create your MyAccess Profile to sign-in to Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 4e. If your institution does not provide access, ask your medical librarian about subscribing.
1Chong IYM, Rosenthal MM, Manson KR, Houle SD. Do community pharmacy performance evaluations capture the modern pharmacist’s role? Mapping competencies assessed in Canadian community pharmacy performance evaluation templates against the General Level Framework. J Am Pharm Assoc. 2018. Doi:10.1016/j.japh.2018.08.006