Multiple studies have explored the implementation process and influences, however it appears there is no study investigating these influences across the stages of implementation. Community pharmacy is attempting to implement professional services (pharmaceutical care and other health services). The use of implementation theory may assist the achievement of widespread provision, support and integration. The objective was to investigate professional service implementation in community pharmacy to contextualise and advance the concepts of a generic implementation framework previously published.
Purposeful sampling was used to investigate implementation across a range of levels of implementation in community pharmacies in Australia. Twenty-five semi-structured interviews were conducted and analysed using a framework methodology. Data was charted using implementation stages as overarching themes and each stage was thematically analysed, to investigate the implementation process, the influences and their relationships. Secondary analyses were performed of the factors (barriers and facilitators) using an adapted version of the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR), and implementation strategies and interventions, using the Expert Recommendations for Implementing Change (ERIC) discrete implementation strategy compilation.
Six stages emerged, labelled as development or discovery, exploration, preparation, testing, operation and sustainability. Within the stages, a range of implementation activities/steps and five overarching influences (pharmacys' direction and impetus, internal communication, staffing, community fit and support) were identified. The stages and activities were not applied strictly in a linear fashion. There was a trend towards the greater the number of activities considered, the greater the apparent integration into the pharmacy organization. Implementation factors varied over the implementation stages, and additional factors were added to the CFIR list and definitions modified/contextualised for pharmacy. Implementation strategies employed by pharmacies varied widely. Evaluations were lacking.
The process of implementation and five overarching influences of professional services implementation in community pharmacy have been outlined. Framework analysis revealed, outside of the five overarching influences, factors influencing implementation varied across the implementation stages. It is proposed at each stage, for each domain, the factors, strategies and evaluations should be considered. The Framework for the Implementation of Services in Pharmacy incorporates the contextualisation of implementation science for pharmacy.