Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Dr. Todd Boyle: working with pharmacy regulators to develop and assess quality improvement programs for community pharmacies

September 22nd, 2022
Todd Boyle
Dr. Todd Boyle

Contributing to our Health -- A Series About StFX Research Making A Difference In Our Communities

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Contributing to our Health series

 

“My primary focus for the past five years has been assisting pharmacy regulatory authorities with developing, deploying and/or assessing continuous quality improvement standards of practice across their jurisdiction.” ~ Dr. Todd Boyle  

Dr. Todd Boyle is a full professor in the StFX Gerald Schwartz School of Business and works with pharmacy regulators to develop and assess quality improvement programs for community pharmacies. He has served as Acting Dean of the Schwartz School and is currently Department Chair. Dr. Boyle was a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair from 2007-17.

 

Could you tell me about your research program? 

My research focuses on the challenges and outcomes of medication incident reporting and learning in community pharmacies. In the past, this has included developing, implementing, and assessing quality improvement programs for pharmacies. More recently, I work with Drs. Bobbi Morrison and Tom Mahaffey from the Gerald Schwartz School of Business exploring patient trust in pharmacists and pharmacy regulatory authorities (the body that regulates pharmacists and pharmacies). However, my primary focus for the past five years has been assisting pharmacy regulatory authorities with developing, deploying and/or assessing continuous quality improvement standards of practice across their jurisdiction.

 

Could you speak about results so far? Or the impact it’s had in the community?

I help Canadian regulatory authorities with defining, implementing, or assessing standards of practice related to continuous quality improvement and medication incident reporting and learning. These practices are required to be followed by community pharmacies and therefore helps to enhance the safety of pharmacy practice in Canada.

 

What impact do you hope it will have?

Continue to enhance patient safety in Canadian pharmacies by providing the tools and supports needed for pharmacy staff to learn from medication incidents and near misses and plan and implement meaningful changes. 

 

What drew you to health research? 

My PhD is in Operations Management. I have always been interested in applying traditional operations management techniques, such as quality management and lean production, to areas outside of manufacturing. For example, I have explored such techniques in the context of corporate R&D labs and new product development. Although such techniques are well developed in manufacturing, they are very much underutilized in healthcare, but no less applicable. Many years ago, I was invited by Dr. Tom Mahaffey to join a team that he was a part of exploring continuous quality improvement in community pharmacies. From that point onwards, my focus has been exclusive within the context of healthcare. Thanks Tom!

 

Could you tell me a bit about yourself and any awards/accomplishments? 

I am a Full Professor of Operations Management at the Gerald Schwartz School of Business. I have served as an Acting Dean at StFX and currently serve as a Department Chair. I was a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair from 2007-2017. I have a PhD in Operations Management from Carleton University and completed executive training at the University of Manitoba’s Centre for Higher Education Research and Development. I have received funding awards as primary investigator spanning a wide variety of federal and provincial agencies, including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Canada Research Chairs Program, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canada Foundation for Innovation, and Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (NSHRF.) I have also received commercialization awards from Innovacorp and Springboard. I have served as Chair and Vice-Chair of the NSHRF Health Policy, Services and Outcomes Review Committee, and as a scientific review panel member for various tri-council and provincial funding agencies.

 

How did you become a researcher? 

I attended Carleton University in Ottawa to do a Master’s degree in Operations Management. While there, I had the very fortunate pleasure to work with Dr. Vinod Kumar, a world leading researcher in areas of Operations Management that I was very interested in. He inspired me to continue my studies beyond the Master’s degree and to become a professor. 

 

What excites you about being a researcher at StFX? 

The people. I have had the pleasure to work with some excellent health researchers in the Gerald Schwartz School of Business. I really enjoy the research culture and excitement that exists both within the school and university. 

 

What’s something surprising about yourself that people wouldn’t know?  

I practice Shotokan Karate. I hold a Brown Belt and hope to be tested for Black Belt in 2023. 

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