Objective: To describe the nature of the collaborations between academia and practitioners in two community pharmacy practice-based research networks (PBRNs).
Setting: Community pharmacy practice sites owned by two pharmacy chain corporations that have cooperated with two pharmacy schools for up to 10 years in research efforts.
Practice description: A PBRN is a group of community pharmacy practice sites that are affiliated with an academic institution(s) that investigate questions related to community practice.
Practice innovation: A model of collaboration between academia and community pharmacy practice to enhance PBRNs. Collaborators in academia include practice and science faculty. Collaborators in community pharmacy practice include practitioners and practice-site decision makers.
Main outcome measures: The role of each collaborator in the PBRN, suggestions for developing and maintaining collaborations among PBRN members, strategies to identify collaborators and to expand a PBRN, and the value to each collaborator of participating in a PBRN.
Results: Academically based pharmacy faculty members connect with practice sites and listen to the needs of practitioners in an effort to design research that will solve practice problems. Practitioners and practice-site decision makers need to understand the role of research in solving projects, propose problems to be addressed and methods to address them, and become committed to completing the research. Building partnerships among collaborators is an important step in developing and maintaining the pharmacy-based PBRN. For faculty members, the value is connecting with community practice, helping to solve problems, and sharing results with the pharmacy community. For practitioners, the value of collaboration centers on improving practice and expanding their professional role.
Conclusion: The involvement of community pharmacy sites with PBRNs has the potential to be a driving force in practice innovation, improving patient care and professional satisfaction.