Mar 06 2012
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Most Abu Dhabi pharmacies meet government standards
Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012
Abu Dhabi: Nearly 68 per cent of about 600 pharmacies in Abu Dhabi were found to be performing adequately in terms of patient confidentiality, medication safety and customer service, among other factors, in 2011, health officials revealed yesterday.
According to a Health Authority Abu Dhabi ( HAAD ) audit, 26 per cent of the pharmacies performed below the mandatory requirements while six per cent exceeded all minimum requirements.
The full results of this audit will be released to the public for the first time, with a grade assigned to each establishment
Entitled Jawda, the grading system has already ranked pharmacies over the past year, and each pharmacy’s performance ranking will be publicly displayed in every establishment beginning 2013, Dr Mohammad Al Seiari, Director of Health Systems Compliance at HAAD , told Gulf News.
“Currently, patients make decisions on which pharmacy to visit based on word of mouth, or seek other people’s opinion. With the launch of Jawda and the publicly available grade for a facility, patients will be able to make more objective decision on their choice of pharmaceutical services, while pharmacies will be encouraged to drive up their own level of service,” Al Seiari added.
Pharmacies are rated on a range of criteria, including customer services, personnel skills and training, and the number of violations in medication storage and dispensing.
Those that perform exceptionally will be graded as ‘Excellent’, while those with good to average quality standards will receive a grade between A to C.
A pharmacy performing below the minimum standards will be graded as D.
“While pharmacies will be penalised for violations like storing medicines improperly or selling drugs without proper labelling, a low-rated pharmacy will be encouraged to raise its own standards to compete with other similar facilities.
“This kind of increase in pharmaceutical service standards is one of the main aims of the Jawda system,” explained Dr Atef Al Shair, health quality auditor at the HAAD .
During the 2011 audits, 14,697 violations were recorded, which included cases of mislabelled drugs and improper storage of controlled substances and narcotics. In addition, a number of products were also confiscated for reasons like improper pricing, or being made available for sale past its expiration date.
“Two to three audits will be conducted every year on each pharmacy, with a grade assigned each time. Pharmacies and drug stores will therefore have a chance to improve [on] their performance and achieve a higher grade from one audit to the next,” Al Shair said.
What Jawda rankings mean
A poster with the pharmacy’s ranking, and an explanation of the rankings (as follows), will be displayed at each facility.
Excellent (blue): The performance of the facility exceeds mandatory requirements, and strives for excellence in quality standards.
A (green): The performance of this facility, according to mandatory requirements, ranks it amongst the upper one-third of its peers.
B (yellow): The performance of this facility, according to mandatory requirements, ranks it amongst the middle one-third of its peers.
C (orange): The performance of this facility, according to mandatory requirements, ranks it amongst the lower one-third of its peers.
D (red): The performance of this facility, according to mandatory requirements, is below minimal standards.
Source: Health Authority Abu Dhabi ( HAAD )
By Samihah Zaman, Staff Reporter
© Gulf News 2012. All rights reserved.
© Copyright Zawya. All Rights Reserved.
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