Consider How to Manage Implementation of Services

This series offers management tips every week, but what is “management” anyway? We all think we know.

The word “manage” means to handle or direct with some degree of skill, to work towards or to try to change a purpose, or to achieve it successfully. Management has been described as a process that brings resources together and unites them so that together they achieve goals or objectives in the most efficient manner. The classic view of management is that it is associated with multiple functions: forecasting, planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating, and controlling. The words “command” and “control” are sometimes used pejoratively in modern society, and some may occasionally use other expressions, but managers still need some control over resources to get things done. You must balance the mundane and the practical while being guided by long-term missions and underlying managerial and leadership principles, and translate those principles into effective communication that resonates with each individual employee. Pharmacy managers direct the delivery of services, including those that reflect real-world practice and newer, more patient-centric services.

Tang et al. conducted qualitative research (interviews) with participants in the Pharmacist and Data-driven Quality Improvement in Primary Care (P-DQIP) program to link implementation factors to effectiveness in proactively managing drug therapy risks by pharmacists.1 Three intervention functions (education, empowerment, and environmental restructuring) were relevant and served by 2 policy categories (policy and communication/marketing) and 8 management functions (instructions to carry out a behavior, problem solving, action planning, prompts/advice, goal setting, self-regulation, feedback and social environment restructuring).

In other words, if the organization issued guidelines and provided the right communication to justify, prioritize/support, and provide the basic foundation for implementing the guidelines, the P-DQIP program was likely to be more effective in its goal of supporting pharmacists with safe prescribing physicians .

In addition, pharmacy managers reinforce this communication, resolve issues, develop action plans, provide guidance to staff, help set goals and targets for implementation, monitor program effectiveness, provide and receive feedback from pharmacist staff, and use that feedback to adjust and improve Adaptation At some point, restructure the program as needed to achieve a maximum likelihood of success. The interesting thing about this type of research is that researchers don’t go in expecting what they’re going to find. These qualitative interviews allow subjects—in this case, pharmacy managers—to describe what was successful in promoting their respective programs. Your thoughts are then grouped by the researchers into the themes listed above. So this advice comes straight from pharmacy managers themselves.

manage managers. This sounds almost banal and banal, but it is often overlooked. Sometimes we quickly assume that managers are just pushing paper, but that managers plan, organize, command, coordinate and control. They also empower others to do the same. In this case, effective management leads to a successful program that improves prescribing and patient safety. This is much more important than just pushing paper.

Additional information about management functions and Implement value-added services for pharmacists see Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 5e.

About the author

Shane P. Desselle, PhD, RPh, FAPhA, is Professor of Social and Behavioral Pharmacy at the California College of Pharmacy at Touro University.


Tang J, Toma M, Gray NM, Delvaux J, et al. Pharmacist and data-driven quality improvement in primary care (P-DQIP): a qualitative study of expected implementation factors based on the Theoretical Domains Framework. BMJ open. 10(2):

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