The Importance of a Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Program in Ambulatory Practice

Activity Preview

Quality improvement is defined “as systematic, data-guided activities designed to bring about immediate improvement in health care delivery in particular settings. In health care, the continuous quality improvement (CQI) model is an organizational approach involving organizational management, teamwork, defined processes, systems thinking, and change to create an environment for improvement. This approach incorporates the view that the entire organization must be committed to quality and improvement to achieve the best results. According to the 2015 Survey of Pharmacy Law, published by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), at least 25 states regulate, require, or recommend a CQI program to monitor and prevent quality related events (QREs). 



Learning Objectives

After participating in this activity, the pharmacist will be able to:

  1. Describe the basic principles of continuous quality improvement (CQI)
  2. Explain the system-based causes of error
  3. Develop appropriate responses to possible medication error scenarios using the established guidelines
  4. Specify the board(s) of pharmacy regulation requirements for a CQI program
  5. Outline the steps in a CQI program

Activity type: Application-based
Learning Level: 2


Accreditation Information

ACPE logo

The American Pharmacists Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

To obtain 2.0 contact hours of continuing pharmacy education credit (0.2 CEUs) for completing "The Importance of a Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Program in Ambulatory Practice," complete the CPE examination and evaluation questions. Credit will be awarded upon achieving a passing grade of 70% or better. Please visit CPE Monitor for your statement of credit/transcript.

APhA continuing pharmacy education policy provides you with two opportunities to successfully complete this continuing pharmacy education examination. Please note that you will not be permitted to submit the examination a third time. Exam questions may not appear in the same order as printed.

The current policy of the APhA Education Department is not to release the correct answers to any of our CPE tests. This policy is intended to maintain the integrity of the CPE activity and the test. Individuals completing this activity by November 1, 2019 can receive credit.

Initial release date: November 1, 2016
Expiration date: November 1, 2019
ACPE Universal Activity Numbers: 0202-0000-16-194-H05-P (pharmacists) and 0202-0000-16-194-H05-T (pharmacy technicians)


Advisory Board

Karen M. Ryle, MS, RPh
Associate Chief of Pharmacy for Ambulatory Care/Pharmacy
Massachusetts General Hospital
East Walpole, Massachusetts



Karen M. Ryle, MS, RPh and APhA’s editorial staff declare no conflicts of interest or financial interests in any product or service mentioned in this activity, including grants, employment, gifts, stock holdings, and honoraria.. For complete staff disclosures please see the APhA Accreditation Information section at



"The Importance of a Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Program in Ambulatory Practice” is a home-study continuing education activity for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians developed by the American Pharmacists Association.


Activity Fee

There is no fee associated with this activity for members of the American Pharmacists Association. There is a $25 fee for nonmembers.

Credit Information

Activity Number Credit Amount Accreditation Period
ACPE# 0202-0000-16-194-H05-P 0.2 CEUs November 01, 2016 - November 01, 2019
ACPE# 0202-0000-16-194-H05-T 0.2 CEUs November 01, 2016 - November 01, 2019