The challenges of digital transformation for community pharmacies in Portugal

  • Gonçalo Silva Rietsch Monteiro (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Healthcare has been facing Digital Transformation and Community Pharmacies (CP) are no exception. The introduction of digital technology posed several challenges to pharmacies management. Departing from Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation Model as a conceptual framework the study classified CP into clusters by their level of adoption of innovation, based on the Technical Directors’ answers to an online survey, which retrieved a distribution according to the model used.The results indicated that low level of adoption CP rely more on Pharmacy associations. Besides, the respondents’ perception shows that they believe that CP in Portugal are innovative, however, Innovators were the ones with lower rate of agreement to that. The main challenge identified was the need for an integrated network with other Healthcare agents, to improve communication and data sharing. The synergy between physical and digital, such as the integrations of more digital tools in the Pharmacy’s management are other of the biggest concerns.The discussion of results argues about the challenges that were raised; the CP’s innovativeness; the preferred communication channels; the importance of regulatory policies; and the future digital solutions.Literature gaps are identified to better assess the universe of CP: the pharmacists’ job satisfaction, and the importance of the regulatory policies to the innovation of the sector. Finally, this thesis shows there are opportunities for further digital innovation in the sector, and starts exploring the role of pharmacists, pharmacy associations and suggestsdifferent approaches of the government and regulators in the process.
Date of Award26 Jan 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorHenrique Martins (Supervisor)


  • Digital transformation
  • Community pharmacy
  • Innovation management
  • Diffusion of innovation
  • Healthcare
  • Pharmacy associations
  • Health policies
  • Digital health
  • Electronic services


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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