Exploring patients’ pharmacy stories: an analysis of online feedback

Jared Loo, Georgina Greaves, Penny J. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Studies have demonstrated the potential for patient feedback to inform quality care as well as a direct relationship between patient experience and clinical outcomes. Over recent years, there has been increasing use of online patient feedback platforms, however, there has been little study of the content of patient feedback relating to pharmacy and pharmacy services. Objective This study explores the content of online feedback provided by patients from across the UK in relation to their experiences of their interaction with pharmacy staff and pharmacy services. Main outcome measure Content of online patient feedback relating to pharmacy. Method Patient stories published on Care Opinion, a national online patient feedback platform, for a one-year period were searched for all content relating to patients’ pharmacy experiences. A thematic and sentiment analysis was conducted on 237 patient stories. Results Patient stories related to supply, staff attitudes, services, accessibility, systems, and errors. Patient sentiment depended on pharmacy setting, but staff attitudes, services, and accessibility were generally positive across all settings. Waiting time was the most common complaint in both hospital and community pharmacies with stories relaying experiences of slow discharge, stock shortages and poor communication and collaboration between pharmacies and GP surgeries. Conclusions Online patient feedback highlighted factors important to patients when interacting with pharmacies and their staff. Medication supply was the primary topic of patient stories with waiting times and stock shortages being clear areas for improvement; however, accessibility, pharmacy services and advice were key strengths of the profession. Further research is needed to understand how online patient feedback can be used effectively to inform improvements in pharmacy services.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational journal of clinical pharmacy
Early online date19 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2021


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