Pharmacy Stirs Up Coffee Shop for Personal Patient Experience

An independent pharmacy recently integrated a coffee shop to facilitate candid conversations between patients and their pharmacist.

An independent pharmacy recently integrated a coffee shop to facilitate candid conversations between patients and their pharmacist.

Located in Hillview, Kentucky, My Pharmacy allows customers to sip a cup of organic coffee while they wait for their prescriptions to be filled. They can also stick around to discuss their medications with the pharmacist.

My Pharmacy Manager Rebecca Hernandez, PharmD, told Pharmacy Times that integrating the pleasant ambiance of a coffee shop into pharmacy services allows the pharmacist to provide a uniquely personal patient experience.

“By having a comfortable environment that promotes communication…[the pharmacist] will be able to have more intimidate conversations with clients and can educate them on how to properly manage their medications,” Dr. Hernandez explained.

A lack of effective communication between pharmacists and patients can have life-altering consequences. On the other hand, more substantive conversations can lead to greater medication adherence, which is widely considered one of the most crucial components to optimizing patient outcomes.

Dr. Hernandez and her business partner, Nimish Patel, MD, opened My Pharmacy after realizing 2 things during their time together at the University of Louisville: 1) there was no place to get a good cup of coffee in their area, and 2) neither of them wanted to work for a corporate pharmacy chain.

While many have wondered how independent pharmacies can retain customers and compete in a marketplace crowded with large retail chains, Dr. Hernandez noted that “[independent] pharmacy owners are in a good position to be inventive and really personalize their pharmacy beyond the typical drug store. Uniqueness will attract new customers.”

The coffee shop element of My Pharmacy’s business model is its biggest competitive advantage.

Of note, some studies have suggested that patients who engage in interactive conversations with pharmacists are more likely to retain information about their prescribed medications. Two-way communication can also more than double the likelihood that patients will understand how to take their medications properly.

“The relaxing atmosphere of a coffee shop allows patients to feel at ease and actually listen to the advice provided,” Dr. Hernandez says. “Plus, everyone loves a good cup of coffee.”