Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Processes and Metrics to Evaluate Faculty Practice Activities at US Schools of Pharmacy

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Processes and Metrics to Evaluate Faculty Practice Activities at US Schools of Pharmacy

Article excerpt


Responsibilities of pharmacy practice faculty members include teaching in the classroom and in experiential settings; providing direct patient care and managing a clinical service; supervising residents, fellows, and graduate students; advancing knowledge through scholarly work; and serving in leadership roles in their institutions and in professional organizations. Pharmacy practice faculty members are expected to know, role model, and teach students and other trainees about clinical decision making, the application of clinical practice guidelines, standards of care, principles of evidence-based medicine, professional roles, and contemporary practice models. Many, if not most, practice faculty members must balance their time between the academic institution and their practice site(s) where they engage in practice-related activities that include direct patient care responsibilities and administration of clinical programs.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) 2013-2014 profile of pharmacy faculty in US accredited colleges and schools of pharmacy, 53% of full-time faculty members are classified as pharmacy practice. (1) Annual evaluations generally include an assessment of faculty members' teaching, research, and service activities over the preceding year. (2, 3) This, in turn, is used to set goals for the upcoming year, identify individual development needs, determine merit salary increases, and document accomplishments toward promotion.

Many schools have well developed metrics and clear benchmarks to measure faculty members' productivity with regard to scholarly and teaching activities. (4-9) Increased attention has been paid to the quality and impact of these works in recent years. However, there is a paucity of data regarding the procedures and metrics used to evaluate faculty practice-related activities. Many practice faculty members spend a substantial amount of time, on average 30% of their effort, engaged in direct patient care and administering clinical programs. (10) These activities often have a significant impact on patients' lives and are valued by practice partners, the school, and the university. (11) The aim of this study was to determine what processes and metrics are most commonly employed to evaluate pharmacy practice faculty members at schools of pharmacy in the United States.


A 23-item web-based questionnaire (Inquisite SurveyTM, Austin, TX) was developed to determine the policies, procedures, and metrics used to evaluate pharmacy practice-related activities. The questionnaire included items related to institutional demographics (eg, public vs private, research-intensive vs teaching-intensive); department of pharmacy practice (eg, number of faculty members, percentage of faculty members engaged in pharmacy practice activities, percentage of faculty members supported by practice partners through formal agreements with financial remuneration); policies and procedures for evaluating faculty members in terms of pharmacy practice responsibilities; who was responsible for conducting, evaluating, and judging practice-related performance; and types of data gathered regarding practice-related activities and how these data were used.

For the purposes of this survey, respondents were instructed to consider only practice faculty members who were employed by the school full-time and engaged in practice-related activities, which were defined as faculty responsibilities related to patient care and the administration of clinical programs. To examine the content validity of the instrument and gather feedback regarding its clarity and the time required to complete it, the questionnaire was pilot tested by three individuals administratively responsible for conducting evaluations of practice faculty members. The pilot testers offered a few suggested wording changes to improve the clarity of three items. In most cases, the investigators accepted the recommended changes. …

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