gms | German Medical Science

17th Annual Meeting of the German Drug Utilisation Research Group (GAA)

Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie

25.11. - 26.11.2010, Osnabrück

Developing a multilevel "blueprint" visualizing the care process in community pharmacies

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author Mirjam Thanner - Institut für Medizinmanagement und Gesundheitswissenschaften der Universität Bayreuth, Germany
  • Eckhard Nagel - Institut für Medizinmanagement und Gesundheitswissenschaften der Universität Bayreuth, Germany
  • Julika Loss - Institut für Medizinmanagement und Gesundheitswissenschaften der Universität Bayreuth, Germany

Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelanwendungsforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie e.V. (GAA). 17. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelanwendungsforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie. Osnabrück, 25.-26.11.2010. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2010. Doc10gaa30

doi: 10.3205/10gaa30, urn:nbn:de:0183-10gaa302

Published: November 22, 2010

© 2010 Thanner et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Introduction: Quality management (QM) and customer orientation are important issues for pharmacies as the health care sector grows increasingly competitive. It is essential for the pharmacy staff to know the patients’ perspective of the received care. A QM tool developed in the service industry, the so-called “blueprint”, visualizes the process customers go through as they receive a service. Blueprints encompass all activities and interactions experienced by customers and providers. They distinguish between different levels of activities, e.g. those that involve direct interaction with the client (onstage-activities) as well as activities that take place “behind the scenes” Using the principle of blueprints might be a helpful QM tool, but has not been described for the pharmaceutical setting before. The aim of this study was to develop a blueprint of the care provided for chronically ill patients in community pharmacies.

Methods: An expert group consisting of pharmacists, physicians, and health care managers developed a preliminary blueprint draft. This draft was discussed and evaluated by conducting semistandardised interviews with community pharmacists (n=3) and focus groups with patients suffering from hypertension (n=23), and refined accordingly.

Results: A consensus could be reached on a blueprint presenting 3 levels of patient care. The first level details all “patient activities“ taking place when visiting a pharmacy, e.g. waiting to be served or handing over a prescription. Factors influencing these steps (e.g. parking options, opening hours) are pointed out. “Onstage acitivities” of the pharmacy staff are visualized in the second level; they encompass all proceedings visible for the patient, e.g. welcoming the patient or handing over of the medication. A third level contains “backstage activities“, e.g. ordering medications or preparing special drugs. Using different colours, all activities were subdivided into the categories „transport and waiting“, „counseling and caring“ or „organizing and preparing”.

Discussion and conclusion: It was possible to develop a complex, but easily comprehensible blueprint that systematically details all processes in a community pharmacy that are of concern for a patient. Further studies are planned to evaluate its usefulness for quality management.