Bringing providers together in the name of improved patient care, access

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — The news that MinuteClinic has formed clinical affiliations with OhioHealth and Cleveland Clinic Florida is important because it further signifies that retail-based clinics are more than just clinics.

(THE NEWS: MinuteClinic, OhioHealth enter strategic clinical affiliation. For the full story, click here.)

(THE NEWS: MinuteClinic to collaborate with Cleveland Clinic Florida. For the full story, click here.)

Under the agreement, physicians affiliated with OhioHealth will serve as medical directors for MinuteClinic locations in central Ohio. In addition, MinuteClinic and OhioHealth will collaborate on patient education and disease management initiatives and will inform patients of the services provided by each organization.

Under the partnership with Cleveland Clinic Florida, family physicians will serve as medical directors for 12 MinuteClinic walk-in medical clinics inside select CVS/pharmacy stores from Palm Beach to Broward counties in Florida. In addition, MinuteClinic and Cleveland Clinic Florida will collaborate on patient education and disease management initiatives.

Meanwhile, Walgreens' Take Care Health Systems announced this past week that it has formed a new relationship with Memorial Health that will increase opportunities for clinical collaboration and improve patient access to healthcare options in the greater Jacksonville, Fla., region.

Through that relationship, Memorial Health-affiliated physician practices will share information on Take Care Clinics and other healthcare options when their locations are closed or they are unable to schedule an appointment within a patient's desired time frame. Professionals at Memorial Health-affiliated practices will have access to information on Take Care Clinic locations, evening and weekend hours and services available to patients and their families.

Meanwhile, Walgreens also is now collaborating with Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group of Chicago whereby primary care providers will collaborate with Walgreens pharmacists to improve patient health. The program currently focuses on those patients with hypertension, diabetes, asthma and hyperlipidemia. Patients with these chronic disease states will receive point-of-care counseling or an intervention as part of the integrated services offered, and Information from interventions will be provided to each patient's primary care physician.

All of these deals have one thing in common: They bring providers together in the name of better patient care and improved access.

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