The role of network ties to support implementation of a community pharmacy enhanced services network

Res Social Adm Pharm. 2019 Sep;15(9):1118-1125. doi: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2018.09.015. Epub 2018 Sep 27.


Background: Limited evidence exists on how to integrate community pharmacists into team-based care models, as the inclusion of community pharmacy services into alternative payment models is relatively new. To be successful in team-based care models, community pharmacies need to successfully build relationship with diverse stakeholders including providers, care managers, and patients.

Objectives: The aims of this study are to: (1) identify the role of network ties to support implementation of a community pharmacy enhanced services network, (2) describe how these network ties are formed and maintained, and (3) compare the role of network ties among high- and low-performing community pharmacies participating in an enhanced services network.

Methods: Using a semi-structured interview guide, we interviewed 40 community pharmacy representatives responsible for implementation of a community pharmacy enhanced services program. We analyzed for themes using social network theory to compare network ties among 24 high- and 16 low-performing community pharmacies.

Results: The study found that high-performing pharmacies had a greater diversity of network ties (e.g., relationships with healthcare providers, care managers, and public health agencies). High-performing pharmacies were able to use those ties to support implementation of NC-CPESN. High- and low-performing pharmacies used similar strategies for establishing ties with patients, such as motivational interviewing and assigning staff members to be responsible for engaging high-risk patients. High-performing pharmacies used additional strategies such as assessing patient preferences to support patient engagement, increasing patient receptivity towards enhanced services.

Conclusions: Community pharmacies may vary in their ability to develop relationships with other healthcare providers, care management and public agencies, and patients. As enhanced services interventions that require care coordination are scaled up and spread, additional research is needed to test implementation strategies that support community pharmacies with developing and maintaining relationships across a diverse group of stakeholders (e.g., healthcare providers, care managers, public health agencies, patients).

Keywords: Community pharmacy; Enhanced services; Implementation research; Implementation science; Medicaid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Community Pharmacy Services / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Pharmacies / organization & administration*
  • Pharmacists
  • Professional Role
  • Professional-Patient Relations