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Community Pharmacy as a Third Space - Dr. Erin Albert


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Historically, pharmacies were places for the community to hang out - with soda fountains, lunch counters, etc. However, pharmacy has removed itself from becoming a "hangout" or third space for its local community. There is a resurgence of third space demands in local communities, however--is it time for pharmacy to come back into the community as a wellness and community hub?

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Community Pharmacy as a Third Space - Dr. Erin Albert

  1. 1. Community Pharmacy as a Third Space Pharmacy Podcast September 2014 – Erin Albert, MBA, PharmD, JD Background on topic: Historically, pharmacies were independent, community-­‐based hubs for healthcare. As well, pharmacies also sprung soda fountains and diners as a “hook” for people to hang out within a local community. However, pharmacy to some extent has removed itself from being a third space hangout. What is a Third Space? A “third space” is a place other than home, school or work that people can meet and hang out in within a local community. With more and more people working as freelance professionals, along with the Affordable Care Act emphasizing a decrease in hospital readmissions and increase in wellness and preventative care, pharmacies now are positioned to seize this opportunity, by creating “hubs” for the community and its citizens to not only purchase goods around healthcare and wellness, but also become part of a community by providing space where professionals can meet, discuss and even educate themselves on health and wellness, or simply buy a cup of coffee and hop on the internet with free wifi. The pros: -­‐pharmacists are maximizing their already “most accessible health care professional” status -­‐increased foot traffic -­‐opportunity for pharmacist to upsell products and services -­‐opportunity for pharmacist to own health and wellness in local community -­‐visibility for pharmacy as healthcare experts The cons: -­‐Safety – security could be an issue -­‐Most pharmacies are not places one would want to “hang out” in terms of design -­‐Costs associated with creating a third space in a pharmacy – wifi, coffee bar, space to sit, noise, etc. Examples of pharmacies with third spaces currently: Dichter Pharmacy – NYC – they have the soda shoppe/luncheonette counter. New London Pharmacy – NYC -­‐ has a nutritional room counseling set up (although technically, that’s not a third space hangout, I dig that they are into wellness via nutrition) Tisane Pharmacy – NYC – has a tea and coffee bar – yay! I’d SO be there filling my prescriptions! Cowan Drugs – Lebanon, IN – John Cowan has an old fashioned lunch room one of the family pharmacies – which last time I went in was PACKED.
  2. 2. Duran Central Pharmacy – Albuquerque, NM – Lunch and pharmacy – and I’m drooling looking at their southwestern menu -­‐ yum! Several pharmacies in Missouri -­‐ still have soda fountains – yay! Other professions with interesting third spaces – could this apply to pharmacy? LegalForce – bookstore/legal advice in 15 min increments:­‐forecast/inside-­‐curious-­‐bricks-­‐and-­‐ mortar-­‐store-­‐legal-­‐advice-­‐books-­‐tablets Indiana Co-­‐working passport – allows businesspeople to work one day a month at any co-­‐working space in the state: Other articles that support this concept: Wikipedia – def of “third space” -­‐ Richard Florida -­‐ Creative Class – hotel lobbies as 3rd spaces -­‐­‐place-­‐ evolution/ Walgreens & IDEO collaboration on reinventing retail pharmacy -­‐­‐to-­‐do/the-­‐brains-­‐behind-­‐the-­‐new-­‐ walgreens